Horses To Follow » Master Medic

Master Medic

Fix The Rib and Master Medic were at it again in the two-mile handicap chase at Ascot on Saturday, only this time, on 3lb better terms than when they last met over the same course and distance at the end of October, when Master Medic came out on top, it was Fix The Rib who emerged victorious. Even so, Master Medic lost no caste in defeat. He wasn’t as fluent over his fences as he had been on the last occasion, he was a little out to his left on occasion and he was further behind rounding the home turn – he must have been at least 10 lengths behind the leader on the crown of the bend – than he was the last time they met, and it didn’t help that he had to go three wide. Crucially, although he did make a valiant effort to close the gap all the way to the line, he got in tight to both the second last and the last, while Fix The Rib flew them. It was still a huge effort. He was 10lb higher than he was when he last raced, he was 3lb worse off with Fix The Rib and conceding 5lb to him, and he raced off level weights with the high class Cornas, from whom he pulled well clear.

He remains hugely progressive. It may be that he will benefit from a step back up in trip now. He raced over two and a half miles twice last season, and he won both times, beating the highly regarded Atouchbetweenacara on the latter occasion at Huntingdon in November, giving him 12lb plus the rider’s 3lb claim, and he certainly raced here like a step up in trip would bring about further improvement. The Jewson Chase was his intended Cheltenham Festival target last season, not the Arkle nor the Grand Annual. It would be surprising if he didn’t step up to at least two and a half miles now for his next engagement, and there is a chance that he could even get further. He is still lightly-raced, he is still progressive, and he is still worth following wherever he goes next as long as the ground is not too soft.

21st November 2009

© The Irish Field, 28th November 2009