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Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 18:47 UK

Master Minded snatches Irish win

Master Minded
Master Minded has won the last two Queen Mother Champion Chases

Odds-on favourite Master Minded endured a big scare before earning a narrow win in the Kerrygold Champion Chase.

The double Queen Mother Champion Chase winner was given a narrow lead after the last, but only because of a jumping error by eventual runner-up Big Zeb.

Barry Geraghty's mount recovered well and almost hauled in Master Minded, with Ruby Walsh on board, at the line.

However the 30-100 favourite clung on to win by a head to collect his fourth Grade One victory of the campaign.

Master Minded led all the way and the race appeared sewn up when Paul Nicholls' horse produced a big jump three from home to move four lengths clear.

But the Colm Murphy-trained Big Zeb reduced the six-year-old's lead and looked to have moved into a slight advantage before getting it all wrong at the last.

The mistake enabled Master Minded to move two lengths clear again but Big Zeb regrouped to produce a last-gasp charge before the finishing post came just in time for the English raider.

It was a fifth Grade One success in all for the French import, starting with the 2008 Queen Mother success.

He's won, and that is what it's all about

Master Minded's trainer Paul Nicholls

Winning trainer Nicholls felt that his horse had got "a little bit idle" during the race.

"Last year at Cheltenham he got a real fast-run race and I think he could probably do with a bit of company and a good gallop.

"It's the back-end of the season and I thought he looked as well as he's looked for a long time. But some of ours that have been in since last July have run a bit flat of late.

"He's won, and that is what it's all about," concluded Nicholls.

Big Zeb had failed to complete on his two most recent chasing starts, prior to a confidence-booster over timber at Fairyhouse a little over two weeks ago.

Geraghty said: "He's got his head down after the last, and was only beaten a head, so it was a great run - although it's disappointing to be beaten."

Trainer Murphy echoed Geraghty's sentiments, adding: "It's a pity to get so close and not quite get there.

"Our fellow is still on the up, and is still inexperienced, so we have something to look forward to next year."


Kerrygold Champion Chase
1. Master Minded (Ruby Walsh) 30-100 Fav
2. Big Zeb (Barry Geraghty) 9-2
3. Conna Castle (Noel Fehily) 20-1
4. Newmill 50-1
6 ran, Dist: head, 12 lengths



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see also
Master Minded romps to Chase win
11 Mar 09 |  Horse Racing
Master Minded eases to Ascot win
18 Jan 09 |  Horse Racing
Master Minded triumphs at Sandown
06 Dec 08 |  Horse Racing
Master Minded powers to Chase win
13 Mar 08 |  Horse Racing
BBC racing coverage
09 Apr 11 |  Horse Racing
Quiz the racing team
17 Jun 08 |  Horse Racing


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