Paddy Power is paying out on Master Minded to win the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. The bookmaker will pay out now on any ante-post singles placed on Paul Nicholls' brilliant chaser almost two months before he even goes to post in the championship contest. The Nikos gelding rewrote the record books last season by becoming the first five-year-old to triumph in the two-mile contest, scoring by 19 lengths to Voy Por Ustedes, and was cut to 1-3 favourite (from 1-2 favourite) by Paddy Power to regain his crown after proving 16 lengths too powerful for Petit Robin in the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot on Saturday.
Paddy Power has never had a shorter ante-post Cheltenham favourite than Master Minded and came to the conclusion this morning that 'enough is enough', this horse is unbeatable and it's time to reward punters by paying out early. Anyone who has backed Master Minded* with the world's friendliest bookmaker from a high of 6-4 to the current price of 1-3 can have no fears and go and collect their winnings from any Paddy Power branch immediately. Internet and telephone clients will be credited accordingly.
Paddy Power spokesman Paddy Power said: Fair play to anyone who's backed Master Minded ante-post for the Qenn Mother Champion Chase and we're paying out with a smile on our faces as this horse is clearly a machine. I doubt that he'd go off as short as Arkle, but if he wins the Game Spirit impressively, I could see him threatening Flyingbolt as the shortest-priced winner of this race at 1-5 in 1966.
Nicholls has stated that we have yet to see the best of Master Minded, which blows the mind after his awesome performance at the weekend, although he would probably have to win the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury on February 7 by a distance to go off shorter than Arkle's starting price of 1-10 when 'Himself' won the 1966 Cheltenham Gold Cup! Despite paying out, Paddy Power is still taking bets on the race, including Master Minded, with prices as follows: