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 report 155 winners with an thrilling younger staff as the brand new Nationwide Hunt season shifts into prime gear. Listed here are his horses to observe throughout the 2022/23 jumps season.

    Minella Drama

    “He was type 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 proficient and I believe final season simply proved he wasn’t a real two-miler, so we’ll attempt two and a half miles and we would even get a bit additional this season.

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

    Horses to follow: the Donald McCain-trained Minella Drama

    Horses to observe: 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 an excellent 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 operating 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 for the time being so we’ll see and he could also have a run on the Flat on our approach to getting him prepared. He’s all the time had his personal concepts about life a little bit bit however he’s a proficient horse and if we will get him again on in the 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 little 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 robust 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 every now and then.”

    A Totally different Sort

    “He’s a sensible 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 residence.

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

    Horses to follow: the Donald McCain-trained Richmond Lake

    Horses to observe: Richmond Lake

    Richmond Lake

    “He shocked us a bit final 12 months as a result of his level to level type wasn’t superb, for all that they favored him at residence,” says Donald of the late Trevor Hemmings’ horse to observe (pictured above). “At residence he’s very simple 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] most likely took loads out of him and though he appeared crushed to my eye, Brian Hughes [jockey] mentioned he wasn’t crushed when he fell on the final at Kelso [in the Grade Two Premier Novices’ Hurdle].

    “Honestly we most likely 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 most likely needs the latter. In case you’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 profitable 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 implies that he might be fairly an thrilling staying chaser for the season.”

    Jungle Jack

    “He was certified for the EBF Ultimate at Sandown and I didn’t assume he was man sufficient for it, so I assumed 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 believe they had been two very sensible 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 do this immediately we’ll see racing smart and likewise I’ve not schooled him simply but.”


    “He’s a helpful horse however a median 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 could possibly simply see he had been leaping fences, so it simply didn’t work out. We’ll return chasing once more and he’s a proficient horse.”


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

    Gray Skies

    “He made an excellent 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 shocked us a bit at Uttoxeter the primary day by profitable, 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 over time.”

    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 following of his horses to observe this season. “He’s an excellent massive monster of a factor and we solely received the one run into him which is unlucky, however I don’t assume 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 holding the horse happening and he seems to be each inch a chaser. We’ll begin him off at two miles in novice handicap chases and hopefully we will do a bit of excellent 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 high quality horse and he’s a little 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 helpful 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 massive 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 Crimson Rum – has already loved a powerful summer season and at the moment 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.

    Chatting with The Jockey Membership, Donald McCain mentioned: “We’ve made a very good begin to this season and I don’t consider we’ve run as many this summer season as earlier than as a result of we didn’t assume we had as massive a staff for the summer season.

    “We’ve been ticking away properly with no 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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