All eyes here will be on MASTER MINDED, who has come back well this season after a below-par effort in last year's Queen Mother Champion Chase. Winner of this in 2009, the eight-year-old will be a short price to continue Paul Nicholls' recent domination of this Grade 1 contest having comfortably beaten Petit Robin, Somersby, I'm So Lucky, Gauvain and Kalahari King in the Tingle Creek at Cheltenham last month. Tchico Polos wasn't disgraced under a big weight at Sandown two weeks ago but may struggle in this grade, while Crack Away Jack will probably need this after a year on the sidelines and has a bit to find on the form book with Petit Robin and Somersby in any case. Mad Max has been racing over further but could stay on into a place if some of these go off too quickly.
Crack Away Jack 11-4 (11-2) Held up in 6th, not fluent 2nd, 6th and pushed along after 4 out, headway to modest 4th 2 out, 4th of 8, 12l behind Petit Robin (11-4) at Kempton 2m Grade 2 chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec '09.
Gauvain (GER) 11-2 (11-7) Disputed 3rd in main group until driven and outpaced 3 out, kept on same pace from next, no chance with leaders, 5th of 9, 22l behind Master Minded (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec.
I'm So Lucky 22-1 (11-7) Led and clear with one other, mistake and headed 4 out, outpaced when switched right next, lost place before 2 out, soon beaten, lost 3rd after last, 4th of 9, 21l behind Master Minded (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec.
Kalahari King (FR) 8-1 (10-7) Held up towards rear on outside, headway 11f out, ridden 6f out, lost place over 4f out, soon behind, stayed on inside final furlong, no impression, 5th of 11, 16l behind Palomar (11-0) at Southwell 2m Nat Hunt Flat (5yo+) (AWT) (4) std in Dec.
Mad Max (IRE) 10-1 (11-6) Tracked leader, driven 3 out, lost place before next, weakening when blundered last, 6th of 16, 25l behind Poquelin (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m 5f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec.
Master Minded (FR) 10-11fav (11-7) Disputed 3rd in main group, headway 3 out, soon tracked leader, led next, driven clear last, ridden out flat, comfortably, won at Cheltenham 2m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec beating Petit Robin (11-7) by 8l, 9 ran.
Petit Robin (FR) 6-1 (11-7) Tracked leader and clear, hit 6th, led 4 out, headed 2 out, ridden last, no chance with winner flat, held on for 2nd near finish, 2nd of 9, 8l behind Master Minded (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec.
Somersby (IRE) 13-2 (11-7) Mid-division in main group, not fluent 8th, outpaced 3 out, kept on under pressure to go 3rd after last, just held for 2nd near finish, no chance with winner, 3rd of 9, 9l behind Master Minded (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec.
Tchico Polos (FR) 7-1 (11-6) Prominent, led 4 out, ridden and headed approaching 2 out, no impression on winner flat, held on for 2nd, 2nd of 9, 2 3/4l behind Cornas (11-2) at Sandown 2m hcp chs (2) sft.