Sunday 18 February 2018

O'Brien set to score on Deep Speed

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

JOSEPH O'BRIEN will be busy at Dundalk during the winter campaign and the champion jockey should get off to a winning start aboard Deep Speed tonight.

A hectic racing schedule will help the excellent 20-year-old to keep his weight in check ahead of the 2014 Turf season, so it's no surprise to see him pencilled in for duty again just 10 days after he went so close to bagging a famous Breeders' Cup Classic coup on Declaration Of War.

Paul Hickey's Deep Speed is a far more modest partner, but he should have a big say in what is a weak seven-furlong maiden.

While Harry Kelly's recent runner-up The Visitor can improve, the rest of the opposition look moderate. In five starts, Deep Speed has been third, fourth and second three times, including when just denied over 10 and a half furlongs 12 days ago.

On that occasion, he became slightly unbalanced when his rider Kevin Manning appeared to briefly drop his rein inside the distance.

In all probability, he wouldn't have won anyway, but it is interesting that connections have opted to drop back to seven furlongs now, as he hasn't run over so short a journey since his debut at Cork in August.

They are clearly of the view that it will suit, and this race is bad enough for him to be able take advantage even if it is on the sharp side.

In the subsequent handicap over the same trip, Rummaging is fancied for Mick Halford and Shane 'Dusty' Foley. Halford became just the second trainer after Ger Lyons to saddle 100 winners at the Co Louth all-weather facility when Lord Kenmare completed a double for him on Friday.

Lord Kenmare is on duty in the mile handicap, but Rummaging appeals more following his eye-catching third over an inadequate six furlongs last time.

Like Rummaging's heat, Lord Kenmare's race is a really well-contested affair.

Halford's five-time course winner has an obvious chance, but preferred is David Marnane's frustrating Maal, which had Lord Kenmare and the fellow re-opposing subsequent winner Rose Angel behind when second here three weeks ago.

Irish Independent

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