Master Dino Master class at Plumpton and slashed for Cheltenham

Master Dino wins at Plumpton
Master Dino wins at Plumpton

French raider Master Dino put on a show for Plumpton racegoers on Sunday and put himself on track for a £60,000 Cheltenham bonus in the process.

The East Sussex track has put up a bonus for many a year for any horse that wins one of five nominated novice chases at their venue before going onto Cheltenham Festival success in the same season.

Last won by Arkle winner Voy Por Ustedes in 2006, the prospect of them shelling out £60,000 again this season became a real possibility when Master Dino reeled in Knocknanuss to land the Follow At The Races On Twitter Novices' Chase in fine style.

Gary Moore's Knocknanuss ran a great race in defeat from the front end, but he had no answer to Master Dino's finishing effort after a stalking ride from Daryl Jacob throughout.

This race was almost over two-and-a-half miles and with that in mind the JLT Chase was nominated afterwards as Master Dino's likely Festival target, a contest in which Sky Bet cut him to 4/1 (NRNB) favourite from 12s.

France's multiple champion trainer Guillaume Macaire told Sky Sports Racing: "The next step is Sandown, then the middle distance (JLT) at Cheltenham.

"In my opinion, the Arkle could be too fast for him. He used to be a bit keen at home, but I've worked a lot on relaxing him - so now he won't understand if we ask him to do that.

"We've worked many months to have a horse able to manage his potential himself - so it would be silly to try to do the reverse.

"I will enter him anyway in the Arkle, but the target is the middle distance. That's the logical (step)."

Whichever is Master Dino's Cheltenham target, after his successful British debut in a race touted as one of the best in Plumpton's history, he is sure to command huge respect.

Macaire is delighted his Grade One-winning hurdler adapted so well in a different country, after just one chase start in his homeland.

"I'm very pleased, because it was a test today - he doesn't speak English, only French!" he added.

"He's learning, but it's the first time for him.

"The ground is rarely deep at Cheltenham, so this experience will be very useful - because he's shown he's able to follow a good pace but also has stamina.

"He stays, and was not tired at all after the race - which is a good sign."

Daryl Jacob with Guillame Macaire
Jacob with Macaire at Plumpton

"Jamie Moore went very quick up front (on Knocknanuss) - (but) this is a good horse," said Jacob.

"I just said to Guillaume and Anthony (Bromley) everything was against him today - track, the ground - it was all against him, and he still pulled up on top.

"That's phase one over with now, and we can look forward to the Scilly Isles - which I think he will be much more suited to.

"The whole experience is what we wanted. He's passed it."

The Grade One Scilly Isles Chase, which winning owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede have won the last four years, along with Jacob, looks like being the winner's next target.


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