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jumps coach Donald McCain’s runners


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  • Cheshire jumps coach Donald McCain has revealed he’s hoping to construct on final season’s file 155 winners with an thrilling younger group as the brand new Nationwide Hunt season shifts into high gear. Listed here are his horses to comply with throughout the 2022/23 jumps season.

    Minella Drama

    “He was form of unfortunate final 12 months, as he’s an excellent horse,” says Donald of the son of Flemensfirth (pictured under) who was one of many secure’s stars final season with two victories over fences. “He’s a bit wild and he’s a bit feral however he’s very gifted and I feel final season simply proved he wasn’t a real two-miler, so we’ll strive two and a half miles and we would even get a bit additional this season.

    “The Colin Parker is an possibility however there’s additionally a priceless commencement chase per week later at Carlisle which he additionally qualifies for as he’s solely received twice over fences. It’s extremely probably that he’ll begin over fences at Carlisle although, he might have a run earlier than that over hurdles however we’ll see.”

    Horses to follow: the Donald McCain-trained Minella Drama

    Horses to comply with: Minella Drama


    “He’s grand and has simply began quick work,” says Donald of the six-year-old who recorded 4 wins from six begins final season, together with a Listed race at Haydock. “He had a terrific 12 months and goes to go novice chasing this time and may hopefully be a greater chaser than he was a hurdler. You’re not going to win as many chases since you’re working off your handicap mark in open novice chases, however he’s fairly helpful.”

    Navajo Move

    “Final season was a little bit of a catastrophe with Nav,” says Donald of the horse who beat twin champion hurdler Buveur D’Air in 2021. “The season earlier than was nice and he received that race at Haydock. He then received an harm simply earlier than Aintree and it simply took him a very long time to recover from it, so final season simply didn’t actually work out.

    “He appears in actually good nick in the meanwhile so we’ll see and he might actually have a run on the Flat on our technique to getting him prepared. He’s all the time had his personal concepts about life a bit bit however he’s a gifted horse and if we will get him again on in direction of something like two seasons in the past, he’s on a really workable handicap mark.”

    Minella Trump

    “He’s been an absolute legend as a result of we had been getting a bit bit misplaced with him someplace alongside the road,” says Donald. “He ran nicely in his first chase at Carlisle after which he didn’t have a really good expertise at Doncaster. We weren’t certain about attempting once more, however he received again over hurdles so we tried him once more and he’s been an absolute revelation since.

    “He beat Hewick at Perth in the future and he’s going up and up and it’s going to get very powerful for him now. He’s on a break and he’ll be again within the spring and he may need a Grand Nationwide entry, I’m not essentially saying he’s a Nationwide horse however he deserves an entry in it and we’ll see how we go between at times.”

    A Completely different Form

    “He’s a wise little horse and I purchased him off Derek O’Connor, who I get on very nicely with,” reveals Donald. “He received his first 5 for us after which he was a bit unfortunate at Cheltenham – we had been planning on following horses and the chief Hillcrest got here down and he ended up in entrance over two and a half and simply didn’t fairly get dwelling.

    “I’d all the time deliberate on working him at Aintree and he was in all probability simply on the go for a very long time as he fell away. He might nicely find yourself within the priceless handicap hurdle at Haydock Park on Betfair Chase Day.”

    Horses to follow: the Donald McCain-trained Richmond Lake

    Horses to comply with: Richmond Lake

    Richmond Lake

    “He stunned us a bit final 12 months as a result of his level to level type wasn’t superb, for all that they appreciated him at dwelling,” says Donald of the late Trevor Hemmings’ horse to comply with (pictured above). “At dwelling he’s very easy and never flashy in his work however he was spectacular from the primary day he ran.

    “The run behind Jonbon at Haydock [in the Grade Two Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle] in all probability took loads out of him and though he appeared overwhelmed to my eye, Brian Hughes [jockey] mentioned he wasn’t overwhelmed when he fell on the final at Kelso [in the Grade Two Premier Novices’ Hurdle].

    “Honestly we in all probability ought to have completed his season there, however we wished to try to have a runner or two at Aintree for Mr Hemmings and rightly so.

    “He’ll go novice chasing from two to 2 and a half miles and he in all probability needs the latter. If you happen to’ve received a pleasant novice chaser for Trevor Hemmings, the Grade Two Altcar Novices’ Chase at Haydock Park is a pleasant race to intention for.”

    Tim Pat

    “He solely appeared OK over hurdles and after successful a novice over timber we went straight over fences, which I don’t usually do,” explains Donald. “He received first time over fences at Carlisle after which he received the Tim Molony Handicap Chase at Haydock over three and a half miles. It wasn’t the strongest renewal however the method that he did it signifies that he could possibly be fairly an thrilling staying chaser for the season.”

    Jungle Jack

    “He was certified for the EBF Ultimate at Sandown and I didn’t suppose he was man sufficient for it, so I believed we’d go to Bangor as he was nicely handicapped,” says the coach. “Sadly we met one other horse doing precisely the identical factor in Harbour Lake and I feel they had been two very good horses who met at Bangor attempting to keep away from a giant day.

    “I think about he’ll go leaping fences however whether or not we try this immediately we’ll see racing smart and in addition I’ve not schooled him simply but.”


    “He’s a helpful horse however a mean sufficient jumper of a fence, so we’ve needed to be cautious with the place we ship him,” says Donald McCain. “We had a brainwave when looking for runners for [owner] Tim Leslie at Aintree and despatched him again over hurdles and you can simply see he had been leaping fences, so it simply didn’t work out. We’ll return chasing once more and he’s a gifted horse.”


    “He solely does sufficient, which isn’t the most important fault on this planet, and he was really a bit extra spectacular than the successful distances urged for his two wins,” says Donald of the syndicate-owned horse. “He seems like one who will go over two and a half and possibly even three miles as a novice hurdler and he’s received a terrific pedigree. He’s a completely likeable horse.”

    Gray Skies

    “He made a terrific begin as a result of he’d had a few runs on the monitor with out impressing earlier than he received his level to level,” he says of Thomas Fearn’s runner. “He got here to us and stunned us a bit at Uttoxeter the primary day by successful, earlier than doing it once more at Kelso.

    “He ran nicely up at Ayr and he’ll go novice chasing now, he’s loads of expertise and he’s only a completely likeable horse by a sire in Cloudings who’s been nice to me through the years.”

    Gold Emery

    “He was a bit disappointing in point-to-points however I spoke to Colin Bowe and he mentioned ‘take an opportunity on him’ and he’s come out and received nicely at Carlisle,” says Donald of the subsequent of his horses to comply with this season. “He’s a terrific huge monster of a factor and we solely received the one run into him which is unlucky, however I don’t suppose we’re going to be lengthy over hurdles anyway to be sincere.”

    Since Day One

    “Sadly [owner] April Strang Metal died over the summer season,” says Donald. “She was a stunning woman to coach for however her husband Colin is retaining the horse happening and he seems each inch a chaser. We’ll begin him off at two miles in novice handicap chases and hopefully we will do a bit of fine in April’s reminiscence.”

    Glory Bridge

    “He got here late-ish on within the season and did his job nicely [at Sedgefield],” says Donald of the horse who runs within the colors of the late Trevor Hemmings. “He’s a giant fantastic horse and he’s a bit bit nervous however he solely arrived late within the day so to win his race was nice. We had been going to attempt to run him once more after which the bottom went so we simply left him.”


    “He’s grand and he’s been a star for us, I don’t understand how far into the season he’ll go however for a useful little horse he’s received a number of races,” explains Donald. “He’s real and he tries and that’s all it’s and due to that we’ll win loads of races. He’ll be round so long as the bottom stays good-ish.”

    Masked Crusader

    “He had his wind tied up at Kelso after practically getting beat,” says Donald. “His Carlisle run was good however he’s a extremely huge robust kind now and each inch a chaser.”

    About Donald McCain

    Horses to follow: Donald McCain shares his thoughts

    The 52-year-old coach (pictured above), who’s the son of the late Ginger McCain – coach of Pink Rum – has already loved a powerful summer season and presently sits second within the trainers’ championship behind Fergal O’Brien. He has additionally loved a fruitful partnership with secure jockey Brian Hughes, twice topped the nation’s main jumps jockey.

    Talking to The Jockey Membership, Donald McCain mentioned: “We’ve made begin to this season and I don’t imagine we’ve run as many this summer season as earlier than as a result of we didn’t suppose we had as huge a group for the summer season.

    “We’ve been ticking away properly and not using a nice urge to do something flash. We by no means have any grand plan to take the world by storm or something like that, but when we will preserve the horses wholesome and ticking over you’re going to maintain coaching winners.”

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