Friday 19 January 2018

Revenge to prove sweet for Morgan's in-form Antiquus

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

JOANNA MORGAN'S improving Antiquus is fancied to gain revenge on her November conqueror Rummaging in tonight's six-furlong handicap at Dundalk.

The €13,000 contest is a cracking little affair comprising three other regulars in Seanie, Knock Stars and Under Review.

Any of the quintet could pop up, but Antiquus is in the form of her life after winning twice here already this month under Joseph O'Brien, who cannot do the weight this evening so is replaced by Billy Lee.

Up 7lb for seeing off Majestic Timeline and Knock Stars with some authority a week ago, she is 12lb higher than when toppling Under Review previously.

That could give those rivals a chance now and Rummaging is also better in with her on their encounter last month.

However, Antiquus is on a determined upward curve. Morgan's four-year-old has the scope to find a bit more yet, so she is trusted to do so.

O'Brien is aboard top-weight That's Plenty in the equally valuable extended 10-furlong handicap that follows.

This is another competitive heat, with last week's one-two Little Arrows and Ned's Indian among the 13 runners.

Eddie Lynam's progressive three-year-old Super Sling also has real claims, but That's Plenty deserves the benefit of the doubt after its winning run came to an abrupt end at Wolverhampton three weeks ago.

Pat Shanahan's charge folded so tamely that day that you would have to conclude something wasn't quite right.

If the top-weight can bounce back now that he drops in grade, he could take plenty stopping under the champion jockey, who is also expected to deliver the nap vote aboard Shield for his father Aidan in the concluding maiden.

A bumper winner at Leopardstown in March, Shield ran well to be third over this 12-furlong trip at the Curragh in October and his recent hurdling second at Thurles suggests his form is holding up well.

While this looks an open race, the Ballydoyle gelding should be plenty good enough if he can reproduce his Curragh performance.

Irish Independent

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