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National Hunt Happenings This Weekend


Talented chaser Master Minded has been given his seasonal debut and is set to run in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree this weekend. Boasting an impressive record over fences, the Paul Nicholls-trained bay has taken down 14 races from 22 attempts. He proved to be a real bust at Cheltenham last year when sent off as the 2/1 favourite – only managing a tame eighth place finish. He did acquit himself well in his next outing as he captured the Melling Chase by a nine length margin over Albertas Run.


Master Minded was switched over off the hurdles circuit quite quickly after beginning his jumping career at Auteil.

The presence of the eight-year-old son of Nikos was confirmed by conditioner Paul Nicholls over Twitter this morning. He declared “Master Minded worked great this morning and runs at Aintree Saturday. Tataniano runs at Chepstow.”

It has also emerged that Alberta's Run is set for revenge and is also using the Old Roan as a seasonal debut – the clash between the pair definitely adds an element of spice to this contest. Master Minded is scheduled to concede a 10lb penalty to Alberta's Run.

Punters can also expect Finger Onthe Pulse and Noble Alan to be in the mix for this one. Tataniano had also been entered for this one but he was pulled out after Master Minded was entered. Promising novice Havingotascoobydo is progressing off a victory in the novice circuit and he could make a massive statement at a big price here.