Wednesday 24 January 2018

Smith realistic over his Master

CLIVE Smith is not living in false hope over the chances of Master Minded racing again, although the owner feels it is not an impossibility just yet.

The dual Champion Chase winner had surgery on a tendon at a veterinary centre after badly striking into one of his legs in Monday's King George VI Chase. The eight-year-old has earned over £1m in prize money in a stellar career for trainer Paul Nicholls.

"I expect we'll know more in a few days, but he'll be up there for a month, and then he'll need a long time off to recover," said Smith. "I'm realistic about the chances. He's still going to be able to be looked after well if he's retired, but we're doing everything possible to get him back."

Another King George VI runner, Captain Chris, could be on the Gold Cup trail, although Philip Hobbs has not yet made a decision over targets for the rest of the season.

Hobbs suggested in the aftermath of his fine third behind Kauto Star at Kempton that his horse had shown enough potential to stay the extra distance in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

"He's absolutely fine after the race but I'm not sure where he's going to go now -- I need to talk to the owners," said Hobbs.

Irish Independent

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