'ideal start' for master
RUBY Walsh can't conceal his excitement about partnering Master Minded again and sees today's Monet's Garden Old Roan Chase at Aintree as the ideal starting point for his season.
The Clive Smith-owned gelding looked back to his best when last in action over two and a half miles at the Grand National meeting, and the first half of his season will be built around a crack at Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run in the King George over three miles at Kempton.
"He was very good at Aintree in April when he won the Melling Chase over two and a half miles and this looks an ideal place to start.
"You won't see him over two miles on quick ground again, but if it was soft ground he could drop back," said Walsh. "I sat on him last week and he was in great form.
"I imagine Paul (Nicholls) would want to get one more run into him before the King George after this."
Master Minded faces just two rivals, with Jonjo O'Neill's Albertas Run reopposing, having been firmly put in his place in the Melling Chase.
Completing the field is Peter Bowen's Pure Faith, which is the best part of two stone out of the handicap.