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Irish Derby festival: five things we learned from day three

Siskin: looks Ireland's best juvenile after his impressive success in the Railway Stakes
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1. Siskin is superbly talented

It's eight years since Ger Lyons broke his Group 1 duck on the Flat when Lightening Pearl won the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket and, while a lot of good horses have come through the gates at Glenburnie stables since then, the trainer has yet to add to that sole top-flight success on the Flat.

That could all change judging by Siskin's superb performance in the Group 2 Railway Stakes, where the Khalid Abdullah-owned colt stretched his unbeaten record to three with a scintillating performance, outlining his claims for the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes back at the track in August.

Siskin looks the best juvenile to have raced in Ireland, and such was the importance of his success for Lyons that he revealed in the post-race press scrum that he'd have happily traded his other two winners on the afternoon for that Railway Stakes triumph.

Saturday marked one of Lyons' greatest days on a racecourse with Siskin the highlight of his treble on the card and there should be many more big days ahead with the colt. He looks the real deal.

2. Don't take Derby form too literally

It's one thing getting an easy lead and another being able to capitalise on it. Sovereign was given too much rope and he didn't stop under Padraig Beggy, and for that he should be commended.

However, this year's Irish Derby posed more questions than answers, and it's hard to put too much weight on the form given how things transpired.

Padraig Beggy caused another Derby surprise when winning the Irish version on 33-1 shot Sovereign

Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck shaped with real credit in staying on from out of the pack for second. He could be a real player for the St Leger, while both Norway and Broome could also make the trip to Doncaster.

3. Madhmoon looks made for Leopardstown

Madhmoon was one of the main hostages to how the Irish Derby was run as he was never going to set off and chase the leaders. Moreover Chris Hayes was always going to deliver him with one run.

He didn't get a proper tow into the race so plan A, B and C went out the window for connections and it made for hard viewing.

Madhmoon looks tailor-made for the Irish Champion Stakes over 1m2f at Leopardstown, a track at which he excels. He can end the season with a bang there and it's worth drawing a line through his this effort.

4. Big weekend for Joseph O'Brien 

Joseph O'Brien rolled the dice in running Speak In Colours in the Dash just a week after his excellent fourth in the Diamond Jubilee.

The maestro's boldness paid off in spades as Speak In Colours, who appeared as though he'd be hard to beat, just hung on in a narrow finish.

O'Brien wasn't as bold with Buckhurst, as he charted a path towards the Group 3 International Stakes rather than tackle the Irish Derby, but it proved another inspired decision with the colt winning well.

Shakespear'sgalley rounded off the treble on Derby day for O'Brien, just 24 hours after Iridessa notched her second Group 1 winin the Pretty Polly Stakes. Is there anything O'Brien can't do?

5. Future champion hurdler on show?

Joe Murphy: wouldn't be surprised to see Listed winner Insignia Of Rank jump a hurdle in time

There was nothing out of the ordinary about Joe Murphy landing another big pot, and his Insignia Of Rank ran out a good winner of the Listed Celebration Stakes, but what was most interesting was the trainer's post-race comments.

Not only did Murphy reveal Insignia Of Rank almost died when operated on for a minor procedure during his younger days but the handler urged everyone within earshot not to be surprised to see him jump a hurdle one day.

Rated 101 on the Flat, Insignia Of Rank could be a cracking recruit to the jumps and he seems to handle all sorts of ground. Watch this space.


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Insignia Of Rank could be a cracking recruit to the jumps game and he seems to handle all sorts of ground. Watch this space
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