Mel Gibson

Mad Max revved up to steal Master's thunder

They have taken turns to submit meekly while the other claims the crown, so a vintage race would seem guaranteed today if both Master Minded and Big Zeb finally square up like they mean it. Between them, after all, they have won the last three runnings of the Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase, and the bookmakers believe they will once again dominate. It is possible, however, that this field will prove deeper than those weakened by their respective failures over the past two years.

Mad Max justifies giant reputation

Not so much an ill wind as an evil freeze, but whatever the wicked weather its good was directed at those who braved the dank chill at Newbury yesterday. A dearth of opportunities in the past three weeks meant that more potentially high-class young horses grabbed the chances offered by the Berkshire venue to present their Cheltenham Festival claims than might otherwise have been the case.

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