Colin Keane admits Siskin will need to improve if he is to land his second Group One triumph of the season in Wednesday’s Qatar Sussex Stakes, writes Will Jennings.
Red-hot jockey Keane guided Ger Lyons’ cracking colt to a searing victory in the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh last month, with the trainer now aiming the three-year-old at one of Glorious Goodwood’s most prestigious contests.
Keane also piloted Even So to Juddmonte Irish Oaks glory last weekend but it’s Siskin that’s hoping to sizzle at Goodwood, as Keane sacrifices 14 days of quarantine to ride the mount in West Sussex.
Siskin will face a formidable field including Mohaather, Kameko and Circus Maximus and two-time Classic winner Keane knows his unbeaten raider will need to up his game.
“He’s going to have to improve to win it,” the 25-year-old told Racing TV’s On The Wire podcast.
“There are [definitely more layers to it than the Irish 2000 Guineas], so he’s going to have to improve but hopefully he can.
“I had a quick look through the first nine entries that were in it, and saw Mohaather – who looked very good at Ascot.
“I don’t think I’m going to ride him [Siskin] much differently – his biggest asset is his turn of foot.
“We’ll ride him patiently and try to have one go at them, I think.”
Marcus Tregoning’s Mohaather reigned supreme at Royal Ascot’s Betfred Summer Mile Stakes last month, as Dane O’Neill piloted the four-year-old to glory in Group Two company.
Mohaather will be chasing a maiden top flight triumph at Goodwood but that’s something Kameko and Circus Maximus have already scooped, as Kameko won the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and Circus Maximus clinched Ascot’s prestigious Queen Anne Stakes.
Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy piloted Andrew Balding’s mount to Rowley Mile nirvana while Ryan Moore was in the saddle for Aidan O’Brien’s triumph at Ascot, two formidable jockeys who would be likely to take the rides at Goodwood this week.
Other Ballydoyle entries could include Wichita and Vatican City, with Wichita finishing second behind Kameko at Newmarket before placing third at Ascot’s St James’s Palace Stakes.
Vatican City was a lowly eighth in the Epsom Derby – as stablemate Serpentine romped to a stunning triumph in splendid isolation – but finished second behind Siskin in the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas.
Keane’s decision to reunite with Lyons’ star colt all but ends his chances of reclaiming his Champion Jockey trophy of 2017, with Keane having to face a compulsory 14-day quarantine period after returning from Goodwood.
Shane Foley currently sits at the summit of the standings – ten wins ahead of Keane – but Lyons’ top jockey reckons riding Siskin is a sacrifice he is willing to make.
“After Even So won the Oaks we were back on the yard, and Ger said to me ‘these are the days you want to be riding – the big ones’, and that pretty much summed it up,” he added.
“It’s not every day we’re going to get a horse like Siskin – he’s worth sacrificing the 14 days for.
“Hopefully we’ll get another shot at the Jockeys Championship in the near future, but we don’t know when we’re going to get the likes of Siskin in the yard again.”