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Master Minded showed all his old zest at Newbury last time and would have won by much more than the 13 length winning margin if he hadn’t done a ‘Kauto’ and ploughed through the last fence. His jumping was otherwise electric if he is travelling as well as he normally does at the top of the hill, he will trade very short, despite there being three more fences to take. That may be the time to hit the ‘lay’ button as this is a far stronger renewal than last year.
Kalahari King is yet to be out of the first two in eight starts over fences, although this will be the first time he has met Master Minded. Graham Lee is one of the best jockeys around and it will be interesting to see if he adopts the usual waiting tactics on Kalahari. He will be anxious not to give Ruby too much rope on Master Minded, but if the jolly is tanking along approaching two out and he’s still in with a chance, that could be the time to back him. Who knows if Master Minded won’t hang up the home straight again and Ferdy Murphy’s runner has already shown in the Arkle and Supreme Novices’ how he devours the hill.
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