12/29/2003 12:00AM

Best Mate regains his best form


In the five weeks since Best Mate had finished second in the Peterborough Steeplechase at Huntingdon, his trainer, Henrietta Knight, had been wondering if the 8-year-old gelding had lost a few steps. In Sunday's three-mile Ericsson Chase at Leopardstown in Ireland she got her answer: most definitely not.

Best Mate, sent off at odds-on, took the lead on the final turn and pulled clear of the rest of the field on the final fence, winning by nine lengths over 14-1 Le Coudray, with the 2-1 second choice and defending champion Beef or Salmon third.