Siskin rises to Phoenix challenge
classy Siskin showed his willingness for a battle as he maintained his unbeaten record by registering a first Group One success in last night's Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.
Trained by Ger Lyons and ridden by Colin Keane, Siskin was unbeaten in his three previous starts. Sent off the 10/11 favourite, Keane adopted a patient approach as Royal Lytham set the early pace in the six-furlong heat before making his challenge inside the final two furlongs.
Monarch Of Egypt made Siskin battle hard though, pulling alongside him in the final furlong, but Siskin found a little extra to win by three-parts of a length.
Lyons, saddling his first Group One winner in Ireland, said: "My confidence was shot all week with the rain, purely because we knew he was better on a faster gallop. His forte is that burst of speed that he still showed there. I think he's a very smart horse.
"What a horse to have - he's so push-button. I was worrying all week listening to every drop of rain falling, but the horse just got on with it and did his job."
Siskin is now a 10-1 shot for next year's 2,000 Guineas, while the Aidan O'Brien-trained Monarch Of Egypt is 14/1.
"Talk of Guineas at this stage is very premature as we are racing over six furlongs in August," said Lyons. "Today was to tell us do we step up to seven for the Dewhurst or the National Stakes or do we go Middle Park route. Did we learn anything trip-wise? I don't know."
Johnny Murtagh and jockey Shane Foley notched a 44/1 double thanks to the victories of Hiella (5/1) in the five-furlong maiden and Know It All (13/2) in the juvenile fillies' contest over seven furlongs.