Master Minded an Aintree coup

Master Minded is being prepared for an earlier than expected seasonal debut and may run at Aintree on Saturday in the Grade 2 Betfred Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase.

Owner Clive Smith said, "I have talked with Paul (Nicholls) about running Master Minded at Aintree and it's a possibility at the moment. We think that it will be a nice race for him and we have won it before with Kauto Star (2006), but it will depend on the going and how well the horse is. We are trying to avoid having him and Kauto Star running on the same day, which would happen if we went to Ascot for the Grade 2 chase on the day of the Betfair Chase – Haydock looks the best option for Kauto Star and we want Ruby (Walsh) to be able to ride both horses whenever possible.”

The going is particularly important for Master Minded, who needs the word “soft” to appear in the description if he is to take part. At the moment the forecast going for Saturday at Aintree is "good, good to soft in places". Clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch said, "We had 3 mm of rain overnight and it looks like the weather will continue unsettled. We anticipate a dry Thursday, with further showers on Friday and Saturday."

Trainer Paul Nicholls has also entered Tataniano for the Old Roan Chase, and would probably prefer him to run. "We've entered Master Minded and Tataniano but who runs depends on how they work tomorrow morning. Tataniano was always going to be my horse for the race, but he's been frustratingly slow to come to hand and I'm struggling to get him as fit as I'd like. Master Minded on the other hand is going beautifully and I couldn't be happier with where he's at. One or other will run. They’ll work tomorrow, then I'll discuss it with Andy Stewart and Clive Smith (owners)”.

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