Former Champion Jockey Colin Keane told Ger Gilroy and Johnny Ward all about Classic hope Siskin on Friday Night Racing on Off The Ball in association with Horse Racing Ireland.
Racing returns in Ireland on June 8th and Keane has a fighting chance of regaining his crown with the retirement of last year's champion Donnacha O'Brien.
One horse that will have shortened Colin Keane's winter and indeed the coronavirus lockdown, is star colt Siskin.
WATCH | @GerGilroy and @UI_Maine are joined on the line by jockey @ctkjockey for this week's Friday Night Racing 🏇📺@HRIRacing #everyracingmomenthttps://t.co/iFP0IVyENh
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Trained by Ger Lyons and owned by Khalid Abdullah, Siskin provided Keane with his first group one success in Ireland when he took the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh last summer.
"Pretty much from day one he was a very straightforward horse," says Keane of the talented colt, "he always showed us he had a high level of ability at home. Then he brought it to the track. I think he progressed with every run.
The rider says winning that first Irish group one race was a special moment.
"Yeah I think so, especially to get it for the boss (Ger Lyons), I needed to repay him for all of the confidence he put in me as a young jockey.
"For the owners too, we only have them in the yard, that's their second season and to get such a good horse for them is very important."
Siskin Classic ambitions
Last season, trainer Ger Lyons suggested a shorter trip could be the plan for Siskin's three-year-old campaign with a tilt at Royal Ascot's Commonwealth Cup suggested.
However, the colt has wintered well and will now step up in trip and take the Classic route instead of sprinting, at least for the time being.
Siskin is set to take part in the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh on June 12th, a race he is favourite for.
The son of First Defence is a perfect three out of three at the track and his jockey is looking forward to the race.
"He's done very well over the winter and he's in great nick now so we're just looking forward to that."
The lockdown period has been strange for many, but Keane thinks it may have been to his mount's benefit.
"It's probably suited him," said the former champion jockey, "the more time he's gotten the better he has become. He looks a picture now, he's training really well so we're really happy with him.
"There will be a bit of pressure, but it's what you want, they are the type of horses you want to be riding in them sort of races."