WATCH: Min atones for for Christmas blip by cruising to victory in Dublin Chase
The Willie-Mullins-trained Min made up for fluffing his lines at Christmas when running out a stylish winner of the Grade 2 Coral Dublin Chase at the Dublin Racing Festival.
Last year’s Cheltenham Champion Chase winner Special Tiara ensured the race was run at championship pace and set a searching gallop. But while Min’s stablemate Yorkhill found the going too tough and looks set to be switched back to hurdles by the champion trainer, Min travelled well in behind for jockey David Mullins.
He tracked Special Tiara from the second last going ominously well. For a brief second it appeared Ordinary World would provide a big challenge as he arrived on the scene for Davy Russell, but he made an awful mistake at the last and ruined any chance of winning.
Simply Ned got up for second with Special Tiara tiring in third (both returned at 12-1) but Min had everything covered and the winning distance was 12 lengths in the end with Min a big mover in the Cheltenham Champion Chase market (9/4 second favourite from 5/1).
The 11-8 winner was first past the post in the Grade 1 Paddy Power Chase at Christmas but lost the race in the stewards’ room to Simply Ned. Winning owner Rich Ricci was understandably delighted with the turnaround in fortune. “It was great, it was relief and he looked better today than at Christmas. Everyone tells me he jumped well today. It puts him back on track for Cheltenham, and starts a big weekend here in Dublin for us.”
Nicky Richards, trainer of the second, Simply Ned, said: “He doesn’t let anyone down. He got another lovely ride from Mark (Walsh) and there’s no reason not to come back here again soon, he enjoys running at Leopardstown.”
Henry De Bromhead, trainer of Special Tiara, was hugely positive after his horse’s performance.
“He’s run an awesome race on the going. At the bare two miles he’s right there with them so we’ll see Special Tiara at Cheltenham touch wood.”