Master Minded Odds
Which distance to run Master Minded over is the big decision facing his connections this season. His victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival sticks in the mind as the most impressive performance of any horse this millennium, but his days as the top two-mile chaser appear to be long gone, as he has lost some of the outright pace and high cruising speed of previous days.
Big decision whether Master Minded odds in the Cheltenham Gold Cup or Ryanair Chase
With the Queen Mother Champion Chase now out of the question, trainer Paul Nicholls has either the Ryanair Chase or Cheltenham Gold Cup as realistic Cheltenham Festival targets. With no leading contender in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting, it appears that this is the most likely route for Master Minded, but whether he will truly stat 3m2f is a question that is certainly up for debate.
The Ryanair Chase may not carry the same prestige, but if victory is the sole aim for Nicholls, then this is the better option. It is run over the slightly shorter distance of 2m5f, which he should have little trouble having the stamina to see out after winning the Melling Chase at Aintree over just a furlong shorter. Although it should be noted that Aintree is a much flatter track than Cheltenham and therefore less stamina sapping.
King George Chase the first big test for Master Minded
The picture will be a lot clearer in relation to Master Minded’s Cheltenham Festival race after he features in the Kempton odds for the King George Chase on Boxing Day. If he runs with credit at Kempton he will almost certainly run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, if he fades well before the final flight, it may head to the Ryanair Chase instead.