A quiet weekend for the McCain team but the admirable Across The Bay bids to defy top weight in the Welsh National.
Across The Bay
Look, he's got a lot of weight and I suppose it's going to be very hard for him to win but there aren't many races for him and he should really appreciate the conditions. He stays very well and he loves the mud so if he can get into a rhythm, he should give a good account. I have thought he might be best in smaller fields and dictating but he does have form in big fields over hurdles and it's too valuable a race to ignore. He's got cheekpieces on here - you could see the last day that he was thinking about things a bit but it's not that he's ungenuine, he's just a bit lazy. Under the old whip rules you wouldn't need the headgear, but anything that helps him concentrate a bit more has to be a good thing.
I have thought that he is probably the type to do better when giving weight to inferior rivals but with Haydock having been off the other day, plans had to change slightly. He's been running respectably of late - he probably didn't stay 4m last time - and we will try and be positive with him back over this trip. He's not got a lot of weight but it looks a warm enough race - hopeful rather than confident!
You can't escape the fact that he's been disappointing over fences so we're going back over hurdles with him. He seems well enough in himself and has got over his race in the Towcester mud last time - this doesn't look a very good race and he's not on a bad mark on the form he was showing last season.
She's still very immature for her age and I think she will come on for this first run - it's going to be very testing for these horses in the ground and Paul O'Brien rides to take some weight off her back. Although I think she will come on for the experience, I do think she's got ability and it's just a case of cracking on with her.