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Queen Mother Champion Chase - Wed March 11th 2009 

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David Pipe Team Proud of Well Chief
11/03/09

 

Well Chief
© racing-images.co.uk

Master Minded

A horse whose career has been a book of battles against injury, proved the good ones can come back when second in the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase.

He could not match the winner, Master Minded, when the favourite turned on the power, but going down by seven lengths was no disgrace.

Well Chief won the 2004 Irish Independent Arkle Trophy and was runner-up in the following year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase, but his constitution has not matched his ability.

Initially trained by Martin Pipe, and more recently by his son, David, Well Chief’s latest tendon problem meant he had not been seen in public since April 2007, but his owner, David Johnson, and the team at Pond House never lost faith.

David Pipe said: “It’s been a great team effort. Jonothan Lower rides him every day and his groom, Eileen Defew, has put in endless hours. So many people have played a part, not least the swimming pool, which has been his home on occasions.

“He’s an amazing horse. Someone just said to me, ‘he’ll be remembered as one of the best horses never to win a Champion Chase’, but there’s always next year.”

Lower said: “It’s unbelievable, but we know how good he is, and it was very unfortunate to come up against Master Minded at his peak. David’s worked miracles to get him here, but we all have done our part, and the horse has swum more times than any Olympic swimmer. I knew the horse was in good form, but he cannot be as good as he was two years ago. Every day has been a risk.”

Petit Robin is likely to step up in trip after his third-placed effort. "We had a go and took him on - we didn’t hide and he ran a great race," said trainer Nicky Henderson. "It was a brilliant race to be involved in and I think we’ll have to go up to two and a half miles now and avoid the winner.”

The 2006 Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Newmill, a 100/1 chance today, put in a great effort to take fourth."He’s 11 now and I’m delighted," said trainer John Murphy. "He was in absolutely brilliant form beforehand so I was hopeful he’d run well. He’s always been plagued by a lung problem and been difficult to train but this time of year he comes good. On his good days he is very good and possibly he’ll go to Aintree now over two and a half miles and then hope for faster ground. He’ll then go to Punchestown and get his beloved good ground, that’s what he really needs."

 

Position
Horse
Trainer
Jockey
Weight
Starting Price
Beaten Distance
1
Master Minded
P F Nicholls
R Walsh
11st 10lbs
4 - 11
Winner
2
Well Chief
D Pipe
T J Murphy
11st 10lbs
12 - 1
7 lengths
3
Petit Robin
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
11st 10lbs
12 - 1
2 lengths
4
Newmill
J J Murphy
R M Power
11st 10lbs
100 - 1
1 1/2 length
5
Scotsirish
W P Mullins
P Townend
11st 10lbs
40 - 1
5 lengths
6
Mahogany Blaze
N A Twiston-Davies
P J Brennan
11st 10lbs
40 - 1
7 lengths
7
Ashley Brook
K Bishop
R Johnson
11st 10lbs
66 - 1
11 lengths
8
Santa's Son
J Howard Johnson
Denis O'Regan
11st 10lbs
33 - 1
15 lengths
9
Marodima
Miss R Curtis
Nick Scholfield
11st 10lbs
100 - 1
distance
na
Briareus
A M Balding
A P McCoy
11st 10lbs
16 - 1
na
Big Zeb
C A Murphy
R Thornton
11st 10lbs
12 - 1
na
Twist Magic
P F Nicholls
S Thomas
11st 10lbs
16 - 1
       

 

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