Donald McCain: The verdict on my Sunday runners
Donald has good chances with a couple of novice hurdlers at Wetherby on Sunday.
"Whether he (Benzanno) didn’t take to the undulations there I just don’t know but on what he shows us at home, I would think his handicap mark looked very fair...."
Laird Of Monksford
He hasn't shown a lot in a couple of bumpers in the mud and although the better ground might help, he looks like he's going to be a longer-term prospect.
He showed a bit in a couple of bumpers and I was pleased with the way he got the job done at Ludlow on his hurdling debut. He's got more to come as he gains experience and this looks to lack strength in depth - he's got an obvious chance - probably my best of the weekend.
He never landed a blow in a bumper here on his debut and although he's better than that would suggest, he's another who is likely to need more time and distance before he's seen at his best.
He deserved his win at Newcastle last time after a couple of falls and he looks to have an obvious chance in a race lacking strength in depth. The conditions aren't a problem for him and he looks booked for another big run.
He has got form on bad ground but I think it was just too much for him at Catterick last time. His earlier win on good ground was a solid effort and I think he is still on a fair mark. Hopefully the return to a sound surface will be in his favour and he'd have a squeak in a suitable race.
It was a pleasant surprise when he won at Catterick in December as I had felt he might just need the run. We've waited for some better ground since then and he seems in good order at home. This is his sort of level and he would look to have an each-way chance at least.
I was actually very pleased with his run at Bangor last time and he is only going to improve as he gains experience. The longer trip here ought to be in his favour and although this doesn't look a bad race for a maiden hurdle, I would be hopeful that he would go close if he can build on the promise of Bangor.
Witness In Court
I wasn't going to run him here but when the race re-opened, it made sense to take a chance. Bellenos is obviously going to be hard to beat but I was taught a long time ago that you shouldn't be frightened of one horse and we've got the champion jockey to ride him.
He was very impressive at Catterick on his penultimate start but he ran poorly at Sedgefield the last day. Whether he didn't take to the undulations there I just don't know but on what he shows us at home, I would think his handicap mark looked very fair. This sharp track ought to be in his favour and I would be hopeful that he can prove last time to be all wrong.
He's got conditions to suit and is on a good mark so he has to be respected but he has made a couple of shocking mistakes this season, particularly at Kelso last time. With a clear round, I would think he would take all the beating so fingers crossed he can keep his concentration this time.