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Master Minded Backed for Champion Chase Appearance


The ante post markets are in full swing ahead of this year’s Cheltenham Festival and we’ll have an even more accurate picture of how things are expected to shape up after this weekend’s meeting at Kempton. While a number of top names boast multiple entries for this year’s steeplechasing showpiece, one of the most intriguing situations surrounds two-time Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Master Minded, who boasts an entry to the Ryanair Chase for the first time in his career.

It appears as though the antepost punters feel he will ultimately line up in the Queen Mother and he’s being backed heavily into slim 7/4 listing across the board. Last year’s winner Big Zeb remains firm second favourite with a 7/2 price that might entice punters who either think Master is beatable, or that he may be headed for the Ryanair.

Opting for the Ryanair over the Queen Mother wouldn’t be a completely out-of-the-blue selection for the well-respected Paul Nicholls eight year-old. A disappointing fourth in last year’s edition, connections may consider the Ryanair to be a slightly more winnable race. The likes of Captain Cee Bee, Forpadydeplasterer, Gauvain and Sizing Europe are all considered in the mix for the Queen Mother.

Last year’s Ryanair runner-up Poquelin is the lukewarm ante post favourite with a price trading as high as 5/1. Master Minded offers up significantly more value for punters here with a price as high as 7/1. Tranquil Sea is being pointed here, as is Long Run, so the Nicholls yard might be keeping their eye on some of the other high-profile contenders before making a firm statement for the Ryanair. 

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