Ger Lyons is increasingly hopeful Colin Keane will opt to maintain his partnership with Siskin (First Defence) in the G1 Qatar Sussex S. at Goodwood on Wednesday week–with Frankie Dettori “waiting in the wings” should he opt to stay in Ireland. Former Irish champion Keane has ridden the unbeaten G1 Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas hero in all his career starts, but current rules in Ireland surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic mean he would have to spend 14 days in quarantine on his return home, should he travel to Goodwood.
Lyons, who teamed up with Keane for a second Classic success of the season on Saturday night with Even So in the Juddmonte Irish Oaks, told Racing TV's Luck on Sunday programme: “I'm looking forward to it–the negative is the isolation that we have here in Ireland, but it became very apparent to me last night that these races matter, and matter hugely.
“So I'd be dubious to think Colin won't partner him. I think, subject to discussing it with Colin and without putting pressure on him, I'd like to think he'll stay with him and we'll go to Goodwood together, take a two-week holiday together somewhere green and sunny in Ireland and concentrate on the big races for the rest of the season.
“You've got to understand Colin is a young man and is being led by an old trainer with a young head, who hasn't been here. We've to do the right thing, but it's become apparent, and we've a lot of good people advising us, that Siskin is the horse of a lifetime.
“That's not to say he'll win the Sussex . by any stretch, he has to beat at least three horses to finish in the three that are rated above him. He's a long way to go to beat the horses that are lining up in the race, but I wouldn't swap him.”
On the high-profile substitute if Keane does not ride, Lyons said, “I think they need to stick together, but there's a very good replacement waiting in the wings if something else happens. It would have to be Frankie [Dettori]. He has a huge association with that outfit [Juddmonte] and he's the best in the world. He's there in the wings if we needed him and that would be fantastic too.”