KEN Condon is leaning towards a return trip to France next month with Romanised, winner of the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville last Sunday.
The result came two days after Ger Lyons had won his first domestic Group 1 race at the Curragh, in a season which has seen 36 different owners and 20 trainers share success in 75 group and listed races at home.
Condon told The Irish Field on Thursday he has had “loads of messages” of congratulations this week and he confirmed that the four-year-old colt, winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas last year, has taken the race well.
“He has put back on any weight he lost and he seems well,” reported the trainer. “He had a quiet few days and started back cantering today. He generally takes his races well, once there is a nice duration between them.”
Condon believes the son of Holy Roman Emperor has improved both mentally and physically this year. “Mentally, he is in a better place and he has been running to a very high level all summer. He got a lot of confidence from his Minstrel Stakes win and he took another step forward on Sunday to put in what I thought was a career-best effort.
“It was notable how efficient he was during the race. He is very relaxed and always looks comfortable in a race. Billy [Lee] said he got a fantastic feel from him and their last three furlongs were very quick. His second last furlong was 10.6 seconds, which is exceptional. He has that ability to accelerate, a very good turn of foot.”
Having discussed matters with owner Robert Ng, Condon is now looking at a return to France for the Prix du Moulin over a mile on September 15th at ParisLongchamp. “The Moulin and the Prix de la Foret (7f) close next Wednesday and he will be entered for both. We’re not so sure about the Breeders’ Cup Mile as Mr Ng is not too keen on sending the horse on a long-haul flight at this stage of his career.”
Good ground or faster is seen as important to allow Romanised show his best form.
Just over a year ago Condon and his wife Pauline bought Osborne Lodge, the Curragh stables previously occupied by the late Dessie Hughes. “We’re privileged to be here and this is hopefully just the infancy of our occupation. We made a big investment and we will continue to put everything we can back into the facilities. The Curragh already boasts world-class facilities and we must all thank Eva-Maria Bucher Haefner for her generosity in improving the gallops. We are reaping the benefits of that already.”
Condon hope to run recent Naas winner Celtic Beauty (Lowther Stakes) and Crafty Madam (fillies’ handicap) at York next Thursday.
Meanwhile, connections of Siskin believe the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes is an obvious target for the Phoenix Stakes hero.
The Ger Lyons-trained colt maintained his unbeaten record in the Curragh Group 1 last week and has been entered in both the six-furlong Middle Park and the seven-furlong Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in the autumn.
Khalid Abdullah’s son of First Defence is also entered in the National Stakes back at the Curragh on September 15th, but racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe expects the Middle Park to be his main aim.
He said: “The Middle Park Stakes is a natural sequitur for Siskin following his Phoenix Stakes win and looks to be his main target, though there is a possibility he could run in the National Stakes. Any decision about the Dewhurst Stakes would not be taken until we’ve seen how he goes in the Middle Park.
“His Phoenix Stakes victory was very pleasing. He found the ground a bit soft but was well on top in the last few strides, so there is no question that it was a smart performance. He’s been fine since then and Ger has been pleased with him. He seems to be going the right way.”
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