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Donald McCain: The verdict on my Saturday runners at Haydock

Donald has six runners at Haydock on Saturday

"Weird Al sustained an injury when coming down in the Grand National, and though it was just superficial it took a while to get right. We are really happy with him now..."

Our ambassador talks you through his hopefuls on Betfair Chase day.

12:20 Haydock
Hollow Tree

It is his first run of the year so he will come on for it, but it is an ideal opportunity to get him started and ground conditions will suit. The race has cut up with just the three rivals, and although I don't know too much about the Irish horse, Alan King's Balder Succes is obviously quite useful and we have to give him weight. We will be looking to campaign him over longer trips after this run. 

12:55 Haydock
Il de Re
Whilst it would have been better if he had won on his return to hurdles at Ascot, I could see why he didn't, and it certainly appears as if this step up in trip is what he wants. It looks a good race, but we can afford to drop him in and ride him with a bit more patience over this longer distance and he should be thereabouts off his low weight. 

13:25 Haydock
A contest we have won twice in the past three years, and one which we like to target. It wasn't a great race he won at Carlisle, but it looked for all the world as if he would win and win well before he ran around a bit in front. It should be more straight forward at Haydock as you've got the inside running rail to help.  I respect Jim Goldie's runner, and whilst he is a big horse and still immature, he is one we do like. Whatever he does now, he will be twice the horse in two years' time.  

14:00 Haydock
Railway Dillon

Steps back up to 3m following his reappearance at Carlisle, but is badly handicapped as the races he won last season weren't strong and they rather fell apart. He would have been more suited to the three-and-a-half mile handicap chase on the card, but he went up 8 pounds for his latest success at Perth back in April and is rated too highly to get in. We just have to kick on with him, but he will probably need to come back down the handicap before he wins again. 

14:30 Haydock
Son of Flicka 

He is not really a fan of this ground, but we need to get some runs into him. He got a bit of a fright when he fell at Aintree on his final start last season and we are just keen to get him racing. He's a horse that tends to come to himself in the spring. 

15:05 Haydock
Weird Al

Sustained an injury when coming down in the Grand National, and though it was just superficial it took a while to get right. We are really happy with him now; he's grand and ready to go. He's as fit as we can get him at home. Conditions would be a bit slower than ideal, but he has more soft ground form than I realised. It is a good renewal despite being just the six runners, but he finished third last year so fingers crossed he will run well again.

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24 November 2012

Donald McCain


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