Ger Lyons feels the decision to stick to six furlongs with Siskin in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket later this month is the right one for his unbeaten colt.
Lyons admitted the seven-furlong Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes was something to ponder, but decided to stick to his guns in the view that six furlongs is the optimum distance for Siskin’s next race.
The Middle Park, sponsored by owner Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms, gives Siskin the chance to take his 100 per cent record to five and follow up his Group One success in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes.
“It was totally my call,” the County Meath handler told Racing TV.
“He did a breeze over seven – he’s run four times and won four times all over six, including a Group One, and for me he’s by far the best over six at the moment.
“I said to Colin (Keane), I think it was a week ago Saturday, we’d breeze him over seven. He worked well, but it was very apparent to me that going seven wasn’t the right thing to do. Why go beyond six at this moment when he’s by far the best around at six.
“If there wasn’t the Middle Park in two weeks’ time I would have turned up (in the National Stakes). We weren’t running scared of anybody. There’s an option in two weeks’ time and it’s a Group One.
“I have to put my horse where he can win his race.
“I’m not saying he couldn’t have won (the National Stakes). My optimum target was the Middle Park.
“I’d love to run in the Vincent O’Brien (National Stakes). It’s here on my door step, but the optimum target is the Middle Park and when we breezed him I said, ‘right my mind is made up’.
“I made one phone call to say in my opinion this horse should go for the Middle Park. ‘Right – brilliant, perfect, good luck’. I thought that was easy.
“As we speak we are on target for the Middle Park. It’s a long way, a fortnight is a long time for a racehorse, but touch wood this horse has not let us down and I’m looking forward to Newmarket.”
Lyons is excited at taking on strong opposition at Newmarket, headed by the impressive Mums Tipple.
“He is rated higher than mine, but we have a Group One in the bag and bring it on,” he said.