Master Minded primed for Champion Chase stab

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Paul Nicholls has confirmed his runners for some of the races at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival and Master Minded features in two entry lists.

Surprisingly Master Minded has been entered for the Ryanair Chase but as he doesn’t feature in the ante post Ryanair Chase betting market, it’s safe to assume his target is the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

The dual Champion Chase winner is 7/4 in the 2011 Champion Chase betting to reclaim his title that he lost to Big Zeb at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, and after his performances at Cheltenham and Ascot this season, you’d be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t fancy Master Minded to win.

Big Zeb is 7/2 in the betting to reclaim his Champion Chase title and will represent the Irish challenge.

Big Zeb has had two successful battles with Golden Silver already this season and while he was impressive at Navan, his recent win at Leopardstown on heavy ground saw the Barry Geraghty mount have to slog for the win.

Master Minded is one of a Paul Nicholls quartet entered for the Champion Chase and Tchico Polos (40/1), Woolcombe Folly (7/1) and Tataniano (12/1) will all join their stable mate in attempting to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Should Master Minded repeat his Ascot form which saw him win at a canter and demolish a strong field which included Albertas Run – a 2010 Cheltenham Festival winner and entry for Saturday’s King George VI Chase – it’s difficult to see anyone stopping him.

Albertas Run is a 33/1 shot to win the King George on Saturday, but Master Minded’s stable mate Kauto Star is the horse to beat in that race and is 4/6 to win on Saturday.

Nicholls also confirmed Kauto Star will be among seven entries for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

A £25 ante post double on Master Minded and Kauto Star winning at the Cheltenham Festival would return £427.50. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.