Donald McCain: The verdict on my Saturday runners
A busy Saturday afternoon for Donald with plenty of runners at Carlisle and Haydock.
"His (Classic Move) future is going to be as a novice chaser next season – and I think he will be a very good one – but we wanted to give him another run and this looked the ideal place to come....."
He looked quite good when he won at Musselburgh in November and it was a decent race that he ran in next time. I always like to run my novices here as it's a lovely track to jump around and he has a future over fences. He's got the top one to beat (Mitchell's Way) but he's getting plenty of weight.
He wasn't the best jumper of a hurdle and he fell early on his chasing debut last month. He's done plenty of schooling since but the priority here has to be a clear round and this is the best place to try and get him jumping properly.
He had some decent bumper form and he's slowly getting the hang of things over hurdles. He deserved the win at Market Rasen last time and he doesn't look on a bad mark now he's going handicapping. AP McCoy got off there and said he would stay 2m4f but this trip at a stiff track should suit. Nick Slatter takes off 7lb which will help and he ought to have a decent chance.
He was very disappointing at Newcastle last time but the ground was horrible there and he is much better than that. This trip should suit him and it's only a small field - if he's anywhere near his best then I would like to think he'd have a good chance off this sort of mark.
He's not the easiest to predict and he surprised me with his win at Bangor earlier in the season. He ran a bit better last time and we'll drop him in and see if he can pick them off late on. He won't mind the conditions and although he is prone to running a stinker, he has got the ability on his going days.
He hasn't been doing a lot wrong of late and I think he might have run into one at Taunton last time. These conditions ought to suit him and if he's in the same form here, I would think he had an obvious chance - probably my best of the weekend.
Star In Flight
He didn't jump particularly well on his first couple of runs over fences - he was out to the left a bit - but he's back to his last winning mark and he will appreciate the conditions. It's a small field and hopefully he can get back on track but Blackwater King would look to have a better chance.
Witness In Court
The plan had been to come here but when the Stratford race cut up last week, I thought it was worth taking a chance. He ran as well as could have been expected behind a decent sort and he's come out of the race fine. I think these conditions should suit him very well and the race has cut up - he'd have to have a decent chance.
He's had a few problems this season but he ran a better race at Aintree last time on what was effectively his first proper run of the campaign. The ground here will be quick enough for him but he's coming here a fresh horse and there's no doubt he's on a good mark at the moment. It's a competitive event, as you would expect for the money, but I would like to think he could go well.
He hasn't got any secrets and he does things his way but when you have a horse like him, these are the races you have to run in. He has actually travelled better when Adrian (Lane) has ridden him this season but then he hasn't seen his race out as well. We all know he's got the ability and the drop back in trip will help - it's just a case of what sort of mood he is in.
The ground was very testing when he ran at Sandown last time and he was tired when he fell at the second last. He's a good bit better than that would suggest and I am looking forward to seeing him back over these brush hurdles. His future is going to be as a novice chaser next season - and I think he will be a very good one - but we wanted to give him another run and this looked the ideal place to come. It's not as competitive a renewal as usual, he has conditions to suit and I am hopeful of a big run.
He got it done well enough at Sedgefield last time and I think he will be even better back on a sounder surface. The top one (Blaklion) obviously looked very good at Ffos Las and will be hard to beat but I am expecting mine to improve and he ought to be on the premises.
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