Justifier completes fine weekend for Lyons and Keane

Promising colt on an upward curve with Tipperary victory

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Ger Lyons and Colin Keane gained a second notable success in the space of a couple of days as Justifier got the better of Harpocrates in the Coolmore Caravaggio Stakes at Tipperary.

On Friday evening Lyons and Keane combined for a first domestic Group One triumph with Siskin in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes, beating Aidan O’Brien’s Monarch Of Egypt.

This may have been at a lower level, but the Listed triumph was nevertheless significant, with Justifier (6-4) maintaining his own unbeaten record, again at the main expense of Ballydoyle.

Brought wide off the bend by Keane in the extended seven-and-a-half-furlong affair, the Free Eagle colt needed to show plenty of determination to fend off his more experienced rival, but he managed to do so by a length and a half.

Lyons’ brother and assistant, Shane, said: “Colin said he is still green and handled the ground and will get a furlong extra, no problem.

“We do like him, we thought he had to run to 95 plus today to win and he did.

“He has done what we’ve asked him there and he will genuinely improve for stepping up (in trip) and is ticking all the right boxes at the minute.

“It is five weeks to the Juvenile Stakes (at Leopardstown) on Champions Weekend, but we’ll run wherever the race presents itself.”

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