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Last year’s Phoenix Stakes winner, Siskin, gave trainer Ger Lyons his first Classic when running out an impressive winner of the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh under Colin Keane.
The unbeaten colt, in the colours of Prince Khalid Abdullah, overcame trouble in running as he found himself behind the leaders, on the rail, as the race was about to unfold.
Jockey Colin Keane kept his cool and showed great patience as he manoeuvred the eventual winner to the outside of the 11-runner field, allowing the son of First Defence show a blistering turn of foot in the closing stages.
Siskin, who had never run over the mile distance of the Guineas before, dispelled all doubts about his ability to stay eight-furlongs, as the 2-1 favourite powered on in the final half-furlong to win with a little in hand.
Vatican City, winner of a Dundalk maiden, was best of the Aidan O’Brien runners in the first Irish Classic of the season, coming home late to clinch the runner-up spot, a length and three-quarters behind the now dual Group 1 winner. Lope Y Fernandez, the more fancied of the Ballydoyle runners was third, another three-quarters of a length behind his stablemate, with another Coolmore-owned colt, Armory, in fourth.
The winning trainer said of today’s success:
“This means everything, it means 30 years’ hard graft for everybody – to win a Guineas was always my number one and hopefully it’s the first of many. That was hard work and full credit to Colin Keane. He was out there on his own today against a football team and him and the horse got it right. The horse is a legend and bailed him out.”
Colin Keane, who like Lyons was winning his first Classic, said of Siskin:
“He is a very straightforward horse. He got me out of trouble when I needed to quicken up, and put the race to bed. He’s a horse of dreams.”
Ger Lyons confirmed that the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas victor will not travel to Royal Ascot next week and suggested the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood as a possible next target.