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Master Minded set for Aintree return

JUMP racing fans will be delighted by the early treat of seeing Master Minded back in action tomorrow in the Monet's Garden Old Roan Chase at Aintree, writes Niall Cronin.

The eight-year-old (left) will return to the scene of his final run of last season when he won the Melling Chase by nine lengths and although beaten in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham, he won four out of his five starts to prove he's far from finished at the top.

The dual Champion Chaser stepped up to 2m4f to win the Melling Chase and begins his season tomorrow over that same distance, with the longer championship races looking a definite target for him this year.

Former Champion Hurdle winner Binocular is another near a return but connections have no definite plans.

Frank Berry, owner JP McManus' racing manager, said: "Hopefully we'll get a bit of rain, then we can start talking about what we're going to do."

Further off a run is Dermot Weld's new recruit, Waaheb, who is only back in serious training and looks to be six weeks away from competition.