Siskin, trained by Ger Lyons and ridden by Colin Keane, won the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas in brilliant fashion today at the Curragh.
Vatican City flew home from the back to take the runner-up spot at odds of 14/1 under Padraig Beggy, with Aidan O’Brien stablemate Lope Y Fernandez third at 9/2.
Successful trainer Ger Lyons was claiming a first Classic success with the Khalid Abdullah-owned son of First Defence, who won all four starts as a two-year-old before being withdrawn at the start in the Middle Park Stakes, while for winning jockey Colin Keane it was a second top-class victory following last season’s Phoenix Stakes on the same horse.
The race wasn’t plain sailing for the unbeaten Siskin, who was sent off the 2/1 favourite in spite of six O’Brien challengers lining up in a race the master of Ballydoyle has won 11 times in the past.
The winner, held up from stall two, was pinned down on the inside rail for much of the mile and had to wait for a split as Lope Y Fernandez unleashed a strong-looking challenge down the wide outside. He hit the front a furlong from the finish as Siskin was only getting into the clear in a rough battle up the home straight.
But the response was tremendous when the market leader got into full flight and after a bright burst of speed the race was effectively over. Siskin powered home and at the line had a length and a quarter in hand over the fast-finishing runner-up, who was immediately cut to 12/1 from 20/1 by Betfair for the Investec Derby.