The seven-year-old has been revitalised since being switched to the bigger obstacles this campaign, recording a hat-trick of victories over the winter period to give himself the chance of landing a big pot in March.
Although never beating more than three rivals in any of those runs, the 10/1 quote earned for one of the Festival’s Wednesday appetisers will attract plenty of support considering the high regard he is held in at home.
Dermot Hanafin’s grey also holds an entry in the richly named Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase, of which he is also 10/1, however, McCain’s comments suggest it is the Grade 1 prize that is firmly in their sights.
Speaking to the Racing and Football Outlook, the master of Bankhouse stables said:
“His jumping is very slick and economical, but the handicapper has taken no chances in putting him on a mark of 156.
“That won’t matter much for his next run as that’ll be in the RSA Chase where he has to be a serious challenger.”
After disappointing over timber with only one victory in six many punters had lost faith, however, McCain insists that a deeper knowledge of the horse would have revealed when his true potential would have been realised.
“He always looked a decent prospect as a novice hurdler but if you know the horse you’d realise he was always going to be a chaser” he added.
McCain and his team last tasted success at Prestbury Park back in 2012 when Cinders and Ashes and Son of Flicka brought the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Coral Cup respectively back to the north.
In terms of wins alone McCain has been the most successful trainer in the country for the last three years, however, with only six victories in total at the Festival, getting talent of the highest order has been difficult.
McCain will be hoping that Corrin Wood can help to change all that.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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