Image by www.healyracing.ie

Min was back to his brilliant best as he ignited the Dublin Racing Festival with a brilliant performance in the Grade Two Coral Dublin Chase at Leopardstown.

Seven went to post for an exciting contest over 2 miles and a furlong.

This mouthwatering race got underway with the reigning Champion Chaser Special Tiara bouncing off in front of Alisier D’Irlande to the inside, with the stable mates a few lengths clear of Min and Yorkhill.

Special Tiara moved into a three length lead with a circuit to run, with Alisier D’Irlande seven lengths clear of Min, with the field well strung out.

Heading into the back straight, Special Tiara held a commanding advantage of perhaps 12 lengths over Alisier D’Irlande, with Min a couple of lengths back and then a big gap to Yorkhill, Ordinary World, Simply Ned and the tailed off Ballycasey.

Special Tiara bowled along well clear of his rivals and took the fifth last clear of Min who had passed Alisier D’Irlande.

At the third from home it was Special Tiara maybe five lengths clear of Min, with the pair a long way clear of Simply Ned and Ordinary World, with Yorkhill under pressure and failing to close.

Turning for home, Special Tiara had three pursuers, with Min travelling best.

Min took the last just ahead of Ordinary World but the latter made a jolting error which brought him to a standstill.

That handed the race to Min and David Mullins who powered away for a dominant victory.

Simply Ned got up for second, ahead of Special Tiara and the unlucky Ordinary World who at least might have made a good race of the finish.

Ballycasey ran on in some style for fifth, beating his stablemate Yorkhill, who made errors and ran desperately disappointingly.

However, Willie Mullins will have been delighted by Min, who looked much more in tune, following his Leopardstown run over Christmas.

Winning owner Rich Ricci was understandably delighted with the turnaround in fortune. “It was great, it was relief and he looked better today than at Christmas. Everyone tells me he jumped well today. It puts him back on track for Cheltenham, and starts a big weekend here in Dublin for us.”

Nicky Richard, trainer of the second, Simply Ned, said: “He doesn’t let anyone down. He got another lovely ride from Mark (Walsh) and there’s no reason not to come back here again soon, he enjoys running at Leopardstown.”

Henry De Bromhead, trainer of Special Tiara, was hugely positive after his horse’s performance.

“He’s run an awesome race on the going. At the bare two miles he’s right there with them so we’ll see Special Tiara at Cheltenham touch wood.”