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Facile win for Minella Indo on seasonal reappearance

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On his first start since being run down by Champ in that highly dramatic RSA Chase back in March, 8/13 favourite Minella Indo had no problems landing the M.W. Hickey Memorial Steeplechase (Grade 3). After disputing the lead with market rival, and Kim Muir winner, Milan Native, the 7-year-old took over at the tenth and went clear before the second-last. He coasted home under Rachael Blackmore to win for the second time, from four starts, over fences. The 160-rated Beat Hollow gelding was cut to 10/1, from 12s, by Paddy Power for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. After Kapard earlier on, it was a double for Blackmore and also for winning trainer Henry de Bromhead who said: "I'm delighted with that. He jumped brilliant and Rachael was brilliant on him. “He looked sharp for his first run. We got him in a bit earlier and maybe that made the difference. He looked really sharp today. "Coming away from the RSA you'd be hoping he'd turn into a Gold Cup horse, but we'll see and we'll take it one race at time. It's very likely he'll go for the race at Navan now next month (the Grade 2, BetVictor Make Your Best Bet Chase). "He seems to handle any ground and Rachael was delighted with him.

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Thank you to David Betts Photography