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Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Saturday, 28 November 2009

Master Minded 'fine from January'

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

Connections of Master Minded expect the dual Champion Chase winner to make a full recovery after a stress fracture to a rib was diagnosed on Thursday.

The Paul Nicholls-trained six-year-old had a bone scan after looking ill at ease and coming third on his seasonal bow at Cheltenham on 15 November.

He was consequently ruled out of Sandown's Tingle Creek Chase.

But owner Clive Smith says he has been told by Nicholls that the French-bred gelding will be "fine from January".

He said: "There was definitely a problem there, and there's a sense of relief that we've now hopefully got to the bottom of what has been troubling him. He'll now have a little bit of a rest and is not going to be ridden for a month.

"Paul is quite convinced that with a month on the horse-walker he'll be fine from January onwards. With all the things that can go wrong with a horse, this is probably as good as we could have hoped for."

Master Minded will now be aimed at the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury in February.

Smith is hoping his charge will then be back on top form in his quest to retain the Champion Chase crown a month later.

He added: "We want to see him run well at Newbury and then hopefully it will be all systems go for Cheltenham."

Master Minded remains favourite for the Champion Chase next March, where he will bid to be the first horse since Badsworth Boy in the mid-1980s to win the race on three successive occasions.

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see also
Well Chief shocks Master Minded
15 Nov 09 |  Horse Racing
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

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