The unbeaten Siskin may have to strut his stuff on soft ground if he’s to bag the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh (18:50) on Friday evening.
Trained by Ger Lyons and running in the famous Khalid Abdullah silks, the son of First Defence has yet to race on anything worse than good ground in recording a trio of wins so far.
Heavy rain has been forecast for the Curragh ahead of this evening’s centrepiece, where Siskin is 10/11 favourite to make it a perfect four-from-four.
Trainer Lyons is hoping to bag his maiden Group One on Irish soil, with Siskin set to face only four rivals.
Aidan O’Brien accounts for three of them, with Royal Lytham, winner of the July Stakes at Newmarket, and Monarch Of Egypt, second to Siskin in the Railway Stakes over course and distance in June, seemingly heading the dangers.
Ballydoyle’s Mount Fuji is joined by the John Murphy-trained Think Big in completing the field for the 171,000 euros showpiece contest.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Siskin’s owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, is aware the colt is going into the unknown, while he also respects the opposition.
“The horse has been in good form, but obviously the weather will play a part in the race,” he said. “They are supposed to get monumental amounts of rain, so we’ll all be going into unknown territory on that front.
“The horse himself has been in good form and been pleasing Ger. This race has always been his plan since he won the Railway and there has been no reason to divert.
“It may only be a small field, but it is a solid one. There’s no (Coventry Stakes winner) Arizona, but there’s still a July Stakes winner in there.”