Master Minded: Tingle Creek winner heads 29 Champion Chase entriesPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Ascot confirmed target for Master Minded
MASTER MINDED, who was among 29 entries received for the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase, will complete his preparation in the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot according to owner Clive Smith.
The sensational 19-length winner of last term's Cheltenham Festival showpiece went on to be beaten by the runner-up that day, Voy Por Ustedes, at Aintree on his next start but reportedly improved over the summer and proved it with a ten-length victory in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown first time out this term.
"Cheltenham has again been the aim all this season and he didn't necessarily have to be 100 per cent to win the Tingle Creek Chase," said Smith.
"It wasn't an outstanding performance but he did what he had to do and beat some sound opposition. He was very well ridden by Tony McCoy and the loose horse didn't help his cause.
"The intention is to give him a run in the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot next weekend [January 17] and then go straight on to Cheltenham.
"We ran him every month from December to April last season, but I think there is a certain age when they can handle a lot of racing and that some horses benefit from a break between races when they get older."
Master Minded's trainer Paul Nicholls has entered seven horses for the £320,000 championship contest, while 2006 winner Newmill heads the five-strong Irish entry and recent Kempton winner Fiepes Shuffle could represent Germany.
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