3.15 Curragh: Listed Testimonial Stakes, 6f
There is little to expect from the 3-year-old individuals in this field, hence we can focus on the older horses right away, that makes it much less competitive race overall. Clear top of the list is obviously Make A Challenge, after his impressive 5f romp here at the Curragh.
Ground and tip won’t be a worry, but as he is going up in class he has to progress again…. or not. This is a weak listed contest, hence he is the right favourite and will be hard to beat.
But if one can beat him I feel it will be the undervalued Urban Beat. He was 4th and well beaten behind Make A Challenge in the aforementioned Curragh race, however, given circumstances ran a massive race.
He clearly was disadvantaged by the draw and pace, most importantly, but a clear best from the low drawn horses, therefore one can upgrade his run.
The soft ground today won’t be an issue – he’s won twice on heavy ground; but the step up to 6 furlongs is one that can bring him much closer to the favourite today as I feel that is his optimum trip. Drawn close to the pace Urban Beat should get the perfect race, and as one of only very few in this field he has already ran to a 90+ topspeed rating in the past – 2 times, in fact – which means he’s a huge price in this poor field, in my book.
10pts win – Urban Beat @ 15/2 WH
3.50 Curragh: Handicap, 6 furlongs
Medicine Jack looks handicapped to go really close today, after proving his well being at Navan over the minimum trip only four days ago, when he was probably unlucky to bump into a well-handicapped winner who got first run.
Stepping up to 6f will suit, so does the soft ground and the pace he’ll find around himself to track. The gelding has fallen a long way in his handicap mark, from a 101 at the beginning of the season to 80!
Despite this deep fall, Medicine Jack has a number of decent runs in the book this year; such as two over course and distance in big fields this summer.
This is a much easier contest than those handicaps, and given he has ran to 80 plus topspeed ratings in the past, I am hopeful that with preferred conditions today he can get his head in front again.
10pts win – Medicine Jack @ 5/1 MB