Master Dino Lays Down Cheltenham Credentials at Plumpton

It always looked like being a special race and the novice chast at Plumpton on Sunday certainly didn’t disappoint. Guillame Macaire brought his Grade One winning hurdler over to the UK as a prep run with the Cheltenham Festival in mind, and he showed why he is so highly thought of, beating a good field of chasers by seven lengths to take the first prize of just over £7,000.

The race was hotly contested and targeted by Macaire due to the bonus that Plumpton put on for horses that win a novice chase and then go on to win a race at the Cheltenham Festival. Master Dino is now eligible for that bonus, which is £60,000 this year, and offers a great incentive to those who fancy their chances at the festival.

Master Dino is now a best price 6/1 favourite for the JLT in March, and between now and then he will have one more race over fences to give him a little more experience and test him even more. It is likely that race will come in the UK once more, with the Scilly Isles at Sandown nominated as the most likely destination for him. When speaking about that race, Macaire said that the ground and the type of track would really suit his horse at Sandown, adding that they didn’t suit him at Plumpton. He also said the horse would come on a lot for the race, so it is impressive to know that Master Dino performed so well on Sunday, with so much against him.

After winning the Dipper Chase on New Years Day, Lostintranslation was at the head of the JLT betting market, but he was leapfrogged by Master Dino straight after the Plumpton race. The Arkle has already been ruled out by trainer Macaire as the race would be ran at a speed that is too quick for his horse, so it is all systems go for the Scilly Isles followed by the JLT and a shot at winning a £60,000 bonus by landing the Cheltenham prize.

We don’t see many French raiders on our shores, but we may have found a very good one in Master Dino, who was extremely impressive at Plumpton yesterday. Sandown is the next stop, followed by the Cheltenham Festival, and he is certainly a horse that a lot of people will want to follow over the coming weeks after his display on Sunday.