A winner at Royal Ascot in 2015, Washington DC was too good at Dundalk
PICTURE: Alain Barr (racingpost.com/photos)
Report: Dundalk, Friday
Text Your Bets To Paddy Power On 51465 Stakes (Listed Race) 7f, 3yo
WASHINGTON DC got his season off to the perfect start and further advertised the Qipco 2,000 Guineas claims of stablemate Air Force Blue in the process, as he ran out an emphatic winner at Dundalk.
The son of Zoffany, sent off the 11-10 favourite, travelled strongly throughout under Seamie Heffernan on what was his first start at further than 6f, before easing to the front upon straightening.
Heffernan got to work on the Windsor Castle Stakes winner but the colt was never seriously threatened as Most Beautiful could not find enough having also travelled well into contention.
In the end, the filly had to make do with third place, being beaten to second by the John Oxx-trained Alphonsus.
Options open for winner
Trainer Aidan O’Brien had gone on record as saying Washington DC‘s attempt at 7f was not a sign he is to be aimed at longer trips this summer but connections will surely have been taken by the manner in which the three-year-old was showing no signs of stopping having cleared away by two and a quarter lengths.
Washington DC chased home Air Force Blue in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes when last seen in August and Sky Bet go 25-1 from 40-1 for the 2,000 Guineas should O’Brien allow him to take another crack at his stablemate.
If sprinting trips are still the plan, however, the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot must surely be on the radar, given the colt’s previous form at the Berkshire venue.
Sky Bet trimmed Washington DC from 14-1 to 10-1, with the John Gosden-trained Shalaa still their 3-1 favourite.
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