Sunday, February 28, 2010
Posted: 28 Feb 2010 10:02 AM PST
Dual Champion Chase winner Master Minded is set to return to the fray on Saturday as he seeks to put down a marker to potential rivals with an authoritative display in Newbury's Game Spirit Chase, writes Elliot Slater.
Nothing less than a very convincing display will do as, with the exception of potential rival Voy Por Ustedes, none of the other horses declared at the five-day stage are rated within 20lbs of Paul Nicholls top class chaser.
Master Minded hasn't been seen in action since finishing a disappointing third behind Well Chief in the Connaught Chase at Cheltenham in mid-November, after which it transpired that the gelding had suffered a rib injury during the course of the contest. This kept him off the track for nearly four months and connections will be keen to find out how the absence has affected him as he prepares for Cheltenham 2010.
The Cheltenham odds put him at 6/4 to make it three wins in a row in the two mile chasing championship race, so the seven-year-old will need to prove he is back to his very best to justify his current market position.
During Master Minded's absence his stable companion Twist Magic has been in tremendous form, while last season's Arkle Chase runner-up Kalahari King put up an excellent performance on his seasonal debut at Doncaster when defying top weight to beat a field of smart handicappers with consummate ease.
The presence of Master Minded in the race scared off most of the opposition resulting in the BHA reopening the event for further entries for a 24-hour period. As a result a number of new entrants, including Gary Moore's useful handicapper Fix The Rib, were added to the field.
On paper, the 2007 champion chaser Voy Por Ustedes looks the most likely to trouble Nicholls' charge, but in recent seasons he has appeared a far more potent force over at least two-and-a-half miles than over the minimum trip. It might well be left to Nigel Twiston-Davies' Mahogany Blaze to chase home Master Minded.
|You are subscribed to email updates from Sports World |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|