Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
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SISKIN is reported to be in good order by trainer Ger Lyons ahead of the £275,000 Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.
The son of First Defence is unbeaten in four starts which encompass wins at Group 1 and Group 2. He puts his perfect record on the line in the one mile contest that has attracted a boutique field of nine runners and includes the unbeaten duo Earthlight and Mums Tipple.
The Andre Fabre-trained Earthlight landed the Group 1 Prix Morny at his most recent start at Deauville in August to extend his winning sequence to four races.
The twice-raced Mums Tipple created a mighty impression when scoring by 11 lengths, in a 21-runner £148,000 sales race at York’s Ebor Festival for Richard Hannon and Lyons admits he has huge respect for the talented opposition.
“I think that Siskin is as well as we have ever had him – we couldn’t be happier with him,” he said. “Siskin’s a very straightforward horse and thus far everything has gone to plan.
“I am relishing being involved in such a hugely strong renewal of the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes – it’s absolutely what we do the job for and it’s fantastic to have a horse of Siskin’s calibre to make it possible.
“I will be very surprised if either the course at Newmarket or travelling outside Ireland for the first time bother him – my only concern is the opposition.
“What Mums Tipple achieved at York was seriously jaw-dropping and I have huge respect for Earthlight, the other Group 1 winner in the field, who is in the hands of one of the best trainers on planet earth.
“I wish they weren’t turning up, but they are, and all I can say is ‘may the best horse win’.
“Siskin is going for five-in-a-row and hoping to be regarded as the best six-furlong colt around. Even then, he may not be crowned Champion Two-Year-Old as it’s such a phenomenally strong year for two-year-old colts, with the likes of Pinatubo on the scene.
“If we were lucky enough to win, it would give added pleasure that the Juddmonte Middle Park is sponsored by his owner-breeder, Prince Khalid [Abdullah].”
The Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes is decided on the last of the three-day Cambridgeshire meeting, the first of four consecutive weekends of high-class racing included in the Newmarket Gold Season, a four-week period stretching across September and October that encompasses the autumn highlights for town’s racing and breeding industry.
The Newmarket Gold Season commenced with the recent Henry Cecil Open Weekend and concludes with the end of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.
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