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Nicholls puts mind to defeating Long Run

Paul Nicholls has been wondering where he might find a horse to tackle Long Run, now that the new champion has deposed his stalwarts Kauto Star and Denman.

Judging from events at Aintree yesterday, he has had one all along.

Master Minded, ridden by Ruby Walsh, produced one of the best performances of his career when tried over two and a half miles in the Melling Chase, always coasting and easing clear to win from Alberta's Run.

Nicholls reproached himself for persevering over two miles with Master Minded at Cheltenham. “He was flat to the boards all the way, and made that horrible mistake two out because he was trying to keep up.

“He needs this longer distance and we now have a new horse to take on Long Run,” he said.

Next season Master Minded will be aimed at the King George VI Chase, a race won four times prior to Long Run's emergence by Kauto Star.

“Kauto has got the video and the T-shirt,” Nicholls said. “Now it's Master Minded's turn.”

Tom Scudamore dislocated a shoulder in a fall at Aintree yesterday, creating a vacancy on Or Noir De Somoza in the National. Barry Geraghty, the 2003 winner on Monty's Pass, gets the ride.

Belfast Telegraph

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