Thursday 26 April 2018

Macbeth set to score without toil or trouble

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Macbeth is napped to land the €20,000 Her Majesty's Plate at Down Royal tonight.

Just six go to post for the 12-furlong conditions event, with Andy Oliver's Killarney winner Jazz Girl and Aidan O'Brien's ready Fairyhouse scorer Chicago both among the selection's opposition.

However, on his best form the Ken Condon-trained Macbeth should have their beating and his return to this trip, having struggled in good company over further on his last two starts, might just prompt such a performance.

Prior to defeats at Ascot and the Curragh, Johnny Murtagh's mount had easily accounted for Chicago off level weights in a maiden at Gowran Park, before then running well in Pattern company.

At Leopardstown in June, he had the subsequent classy winners Aklan and Tannery behind when finishing second to Backbench Blues, which is now rated 107.

Given that Macbeth meets Chicago off level terms again today and that he receives weight from five other inferior-rated rivals, he should prove very hard to stop.

Murtagh is also strongly fancied to take the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Handicap on John Oxx's Sindjara.

This 10-furlong heat is really competitive, but Oxx's three-year-old is still unexposed. She scooted clear of Tannery and the winners of five other subsequent races to lose her maiden status in Dundalk last December, before finishing fourth after making her own running on her handicap and seasonal bow at the Curragh towards the end of May.

In the subsequent handicap over the same trip, Murtagh's championship rival Wayne Lordan gets the nod on Time Of My Life.

Having made a mockery of his handicap mark at Wexford in May, Tommy Stack's well-bred three-year-old failed to follow up when third three days later at Roscommon, but he remains potentially better than this grade.

On the day's other all-Flat card at Wexford, Ken Condon's Southfork looks nicely treated in the claimer. The second top-rated in the race with a mark of 62, the modest Shane Foley-ridden contender has to improve, but this is a weak contest that he could be capable of winning.

Ben Curtis might take the following maiden on Tommy Carmody's Leopardstown runner-up All That Rules, while Wot A Shot, so impressive at Naas on Wednesday, can follow up in the mile handicap.

Irish Independent

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