Irish Eyes: The best Medicine

Irish Eyes previews the second day of Irish Champions Weekend and tries to unearth some value at the Curragh.

Medicine Jack should be even shorter in the sales race


Nap: Best In The World, 2.35 Curragh

Next Best: Washington DC, 3.10 Curragh

Trixie: Medicine Jack, 5.25 Curragh

On a day that features four odds-on favourites, finding some value will be key and one horse in the Flying Five looks overpriced on all known form.

That is not something that can often be said about the only Aidan O'Brien-trained runner in a race but it certainly looks the case where Washington DC is concerned.

He won the Winsdor Castle over this trip at Royal Ascot as a juvenile prior to beating the Coventry winner Buratino when second in last year's Phoenix Stakes at this track behind the champion two-year-old Air Force Blue. The pick of his form this year has been just as good, if not better.

Third at Royal Ascot in the Commonwealth Cup, a mere length and a half off subsequent Haydock Sprint Cup winner Quiet Reflection, he went on to contest the July Cup at Newmarket. There he finished fifth to the outstanding Limato, beaten under than four lengths, a tremendous performance from a three-year-old. Not only that but he was a mere neck off the King's Stand winner Profitable and given the Clive Cox-trained sprinter beat today's joint-favourite Cotai Glory by the same margin in that King's Stand, that has to be significant.

"It's difficult to say much more than to have Medicine Jack at 9/4 in today's sales race looks bananas. Granted he is not drawn well, but that makes him a 5/4 shot as opposed to a 4/5 shot and 9/4 is simply a massive boo-boo."

On his next start, Washington DC finished a neck behind today's other joint-favourite (at half the price) Take Cover, when second in the King George at Goodwood. His latest performance in the Nunthorpe can be forgiven as he was drawn on the wrong side and all three horses with the highest draw that day filled the last three places home. Overall in 13 starts, he has only ever been out of the first three on three occasions and he is in fact a mere pound off the highest rated horses in this field but as a three-year-old, he receives a one pound allowance to even things up.

The only slight negative is his five draw but something that might counteract that is the fact he is a mere two stalls away from the likely pace setter in Take Cover who is drawn three. Washington DC's running style suggests he is a horse who performs best if taken along early with the speed, but kept under cover and produced late, much like his King George performance. Bookmakers rate that a 9/1 chance to happen today but surely that is a miscalculation and must be closer to 9/2 so therefore Washington DC gets the vote.

Sky Bet's Price Boosts include Churchill in the Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at 4.15

Elsewhere on the card, it is impossible to opposed Best In The World in the Blandford Stakes given she is rated 8lbs clear of any other filly in the field.

Granted she may not have lived up to her slightly outlandish name but her seven-race career reads well, all told. Having finished second in a maiden she won a Listed race on only her second start here at the Curragh, both on good ground. Today will be her sixth run in six consecutive months but the first three can be written off for various reasons.

Her seasonal debut came on soft to heavy ground, she was drawn widest of all in the Musidora and used up too much early getting over to lead on the rails and the opposite happened in the Munster Oaks where having been slowly away she stayed on to finish third. In July she was dropped three furlongs in trip and for some reason was held up but she, predictably flew home to finish sixth of 12, beaten a mere two-and-a-half lengths. That was a very creditable performance under the circumstances and she matched that when stepped back up in trip to 12 furlongs to win the Give Thanks Stakes. She just got up to beat her stablemate Somehow on that occasion, with her closest rival in today betting Shamreen more than five lengths in arears.

Somehow subsequently franked the form subsequently in no uncertain terms when taking the 9f Snow Fairy at the Curragh two weeks ago by no less than seven lengths! Somehow is now rated 115 so it could be argued that Best In The World has been underestimated on her mark of 108 and actually has much more than eight pounds in hand of her rivals off levels today. The 10f trip shouldn't pose any problems and there is every chance she could produce a similar performance to that of Somehow today and tear this field asunder. The 10/11, although short, looks more than fair in the circumstances.

It's difficult to say much more than to have Medicine Jack at 9/4 in today's sales race looks bananas. Granted he is not drawn well, but that makes him a 5/4 shot as opposed to a 4/5 shot and 9/4 is simply a massive boo-boo.

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