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Donald McCain: Weekend plans scuppered by the weather

Ballabriggs is one of a number of big names Donald is desperate to get back on the racecourse.

"I have to say I am very pleased with him (Peddlers Cross) at home – we gave him a breeze on Friday morning in case Ascot was on and the signs are very positive – it’s just a case of getting him on the track as soon as possible...."

The snow has played havoc with the weekend's racing and the longer it stays around, the more headaches it will cause Donald as he tries to get his big guns on the track.

Well, it looks like the weathermen have got this one right! The snow is coming down hard in Cholmondeley - we usually manage to avoid the worst of it but it's currently as bad as I've seen for a long time.

With the facilities we have here now, we can usually manage to keep the show on the road and we had three lots out on Friday morning which was a pretty good effort in the circumstances.

I would think we would be able to cope with the cold snap for up to a week without any real disruption - to be honest, most of the horses have been on the go for a long time and backing off them won't do any harm. 

It's more of an issue for the ones I am desperate to get out on the track - the likes of Peddlers Cross, Our Mick and Ballabriggs need to get a run into them and time is running out. They will be kept a bit busier than some but the longer the weather stays bad, the harder things become. 

With Haydock and Ascot being off this weekend, I am running out of options for Peddlers Cross. It was never my intention to have his reappearance over 3m but the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham next weekend has to come under serious consideration now - if it's on! It wouldn't be ideal but our hand is being forced to some extent.

I know that the BHA are looking into rescheduling Haydock's Champion Hurdle Trial and that would be the other obvious option for him at this stage. I have to say I am very pleased with him at home - we gave him a breeze on Friday morning in case Ascot was on and the signs are very positive - it's just a case of getting him on the track as soon as possible.

Depending on how bad the next few days are, I suppose there is also the possibility that there could be a few more of the bumper fixtures set up on the AW. 

They might not be everyone's cup of tea but they do serve a purpose at times like this and I would have no qualms about running any of mine in them if it was the best way to keep them ticking over.

I did send Call Back down to Lingfield in the week but that was a worst-case scenario and Kempton and Southwell are much more suitable for these meetings!

As a final thought, times like these do make you think that racing is currently set up to be too weekend orientated. I know racecourses want to maximise their revenue but can it be good to have all the best racing on a Saturday?

I never used to think about it too much in the past as I never had the horses to run in these feature races - maybe I am just old fashioned but it's a trend I don't think is beneficial.

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19 January 2013

Donald McCain

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