Master Minded Gives Tingle Creek Master Class
1 Master Minded 10/11F
Master Minded looked back to his imperious best with a sumptuous performance in the Keith Prowse Hospitality Tingle Creek Chase at Cheltenham.
The race was run at a fierce gallop, with Petit Robin still in front coming down the hill and travelling well enough, while Noel Fehily was biding his time in the saddle on the favourite.
The dual Champion Chase hero engaged top gear rounding the final bend and fairly sprinted clear to win as he liked as the 10-11 market leader, beating Petit Robin by eight lengths, with Somersby third.
Fehily, whose return to action at Cheltenham on Friday after a wrist injury had been in doubt until 11th-hour clearance from the authorities, said: "That was brilliant - it's been a fairly trying week, but it has all paid off. He's electric, he jumped brilliantly again today.
"There was so much pace on early and I was slightly worried at one stage, but I was so sure they had gone too fast and so I sat for a while.
"He really picked them up. He's very good and has so much class. He was brilliant over the last, he's such a good jumper."
Delighted trainer Paul Nicholls said: "He had a breathing operation in the summer as I was convinced that is what was stopping him. It has made a big difference to him.
"I was really nervous beforehand, but it's great to have him back. He's improved enormously since Ascot - and to be fair I needed to see him put two runs together. Now he has come back and won twice like that, I'm a lot more confident ahead of the Champion Chase.
"What he will do now is have a little break and then go for the Victor Chandler at Ascot at the end of January. After that he'll go straight to the Champion Chase, he won't run anywhere else.
"It was a fantastic ride from Noel, he saw they had gone too fast but he was patient and knew what he was doing. I'm really pleased with that and it's great for all the team at home."
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