Monday 20 November 2017

Duff to defy ratings and land spoils for Lynam at Dundalk

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Duff is fancied to take advantage of favourable conditions and justify the nap selection in the six-furlong Group Discounts at Dundalk Stadium Race this evening.

Although both Angel's Pursuit and Rudolf Valentino possess superior ratings to Eddie Lynam's consistent eight-year-old, neither have the same appeal.

The latter has not run since finishing down the field in the National Stakes on its last start for Aidan O'Brien more than a year ago, while Angel's Pursuit failed to make much of an impact for Richard Hannon last summer.

On its first outing for David Marnane, Angel's Pursuit is certainly well in at the weights, but Duff is, nonetheless, preferred.

In a handicap over course and distance a fortnight ago, he was beaten less than a length when fourth to Gordon Lord Byron.

Having conceded 17lbs to the winner then, it's easy to envisage Duff turning the tables on the same horse off level weights here.

Lynam has other chances on the eight-race spread, not least in the opening juvenile maiden. He saddles Slade Power in this, with Pyrenean Music the most obvious danger in a 14-runner heat.

The David Wachman-trained colt has twice been placed, but Slade Power's second at The Curragh on its debut in May reads particularly well. Reply was the only horse to better the son of Dutch Art then, form that has since been franked by that one going on to win a valuable race at Doncaster and be placed in a Group One.

Pat Smullen, who steers Slade Power, might bookend what could be a lucrative evening for Lynam on his Denny Crane in the last, with Tell The Wind another to keep on side in the seven-furlong handicap.

Chris Hayes' mount benefited from a lay-off to press Gordon Lord Byron all the way last time.

Kevin Prendergast's three-year-old filly is rated 80 now but having competed off a high of 95 before, she can win.

Irish Independent

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