Donald McCain

    With some interesting recruits from the Irish point-to-point field, Donald McCain is looking forward to the newcomers joining his established stars to continue filling the stable's coffers
  • Tuesday 05 December 2017
  • Stable Tours

DONALD McCAIN has experienced both highs and low in the past few seasons but if the current form of his stable is a barometer then he could well be hitting the dizzy heights once more.

The Bankhouse Stable team in Cholmondeley in Cheshire have struck gold seven times in the past fortnight from 34 runners and McCain reached his half century for the 2018-18 season when Cowslip won at Bangor on Saturday.

The turn in the tide showed last term when he notched 80 winners after a comparatively disastrous 2014-15 when McCain’s season ended with 53 winners which was a shortfall from his 142 and 99 off 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

Still as is his family trait there is plenty of grittiness instilled in the amiable Northerner and a positive outlook that follows all the way through to his horses.

Testify looked the sort that could well be carrying on the great tradition of the stable and whose to say that he won't one day be lining up to face the starter at Aintree and the embryo chaser Ballasalla could well be one to try and emulate his brother Ballabriggs who gave the young McCain his first Grand National winner in 2011.

There are several nice recruits coming through from the point-to-point field and with young hurdler like Fin And Game and the tough mare Lastbutnotleast then there should be plenty more glory days to come.

Donald kindly spoke to Tony Elves of ATR about those he hopes can swell the stable's winning number during the coming months.

All Horses

Always Du Cerisier

  • 4 b g Apsis – Tyr Elissa
Form Profile:

Placed in two point-to-points in Ireland in the Spring.

Trainer Says:

He is a big French four-year-old and is a nice horse whose point-to-point form is solid. He is not ready to run just yet but we like him. It will be a good few weeks yet before we see him running.

Ballasalla (IRE)

Form Profile:

Unplaced in his only bumper at Newcastle in February

Trainer Says:

He might run this weekend and is a full brother to Ballabriggs and we quite like him. He finished a bit distressed at Newcastle last season and for no particular reason he overheated. Ballabriggs never won a novice hurdle until after he had won a Kim Muir and this horse might well be the same and you may not see the best of him until he goes over fences.

Video Form
23 Mar 2018:
21 Feb 2018:
15 Feb 2017:

Birch Vale (IRE)

Form Profile:

Best effort in three runs in bumpers when runner-up, beaten four lengths, to Belle Amis at Wetherby on Wednesday.

Trainer Says:

She ran a really nice race at Wetherby last Wednesday when second in the bumper. The winner looks pretty smart and they were 34 lengths clear of the third. She has a good pedigree, goes on slow ground and is going to stay. She jumps well and is ready to run over hurdles now.

Video Form
12 May 2018:
23 Mar 2018:
30 Jan 2018:
26 Dec 2017:
1 Apr 2017:

Chti Balko (FR)

Form Profile:

Winner of two of his 7 starts and currently rated 135 over hurdles. Better effort this season on his reappearance at Newbury (2m 1/2f) in November when third, beaten three and a quarter lengths, to Poppy Kay off his current mark.

Trainer Says:

To be fair I probably underestimated him. He won his bad novice hurdle well last season and then went to Aintree which was a non event which was understandable. He has come back this time and run two solid races in two decent handicaps at Newbury and Haydock. They probably went a bit quick the last day at Haydock and he didn’t quite get home. We will come back to two miles on heavy ground which he seems to be effective on and he will be very competitive.

Video Form
9 Jan 2017:

Classic Impact

  • 5 b m Witness Box – Tanya Thyne
Form Profile:

Runner-up in her only point-to-point in Ireland.

Trainer Says:

She is a bit slower in getting going and is a sister to Wilmott and Testify. Her point-to-point form is solid and she is galloping now and will probably run in a bumper around Christmas time.

Clondaw Kaempfer (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of five of his 23 starts and currently rated 132 over hurdles and 135 over fences. Finished runner-up, beaten a length and three quarters, to Dashing Oscar in a handicap hurdle at Bangor (2m 3 1/2f) in November off a mark of 131.

Trainer Says:

I thought he would run well on his first race this season since on his last run of last season he looked like winning at Aintree on National Day and made a bad mistake at the last. As it was he ran disappointingly on his first run so we put the blinkers back on at Bangor and he ran a screamer on ground that would be slow enough for him. He will probably go to Aintree on Becher Chase Day for another handicap hurdle there and he should be thereabouts.

Video Form
15 Dec 2017:

Cousin Oscar (IRE)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Oscar - On The Jetty (Be My Native)
  • Trained by: D McCain Jnr
  • Last Race: Musselburgh, 4 Feb 2018 12:50
  • Result: 5/8, with winner, lost place after 5 out, soon outpaced, no chance with leaders from next, left modest 4th last until near finish
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of two of his 9 starts and currently rated 122 over fences and hurdles. Finished third, beaten nine and three quarter lengths, to Ami Desbois in a novices’ chase at Wetherby (1m 7f) in November.

Trainer Says:

He had nice run round when making his debut over fences at Wetherby. Things happened a bit quick over two miles and he wants to go a bit further. He was going to run at Musselburgh last week but the ground had just dried out a bit too much for him but he is ready to run. He will be running anytime soon and will make a solid handicap chaser.

Video Form
3 Jun 2017:
26 Dec 2016:
2 Dec 2016:

Dear Sire (FR)

Form Profile:

Winner of six of his 20 races and currently rated 137 over hurdles. Finished creditable fourth, beaten nine and a half lengths, to Poetic Rhythm in the Grade 2 Persian War Novices’ Hurdle at Chepstow (2m 3 1/2f) in October on his latest start.

Trainer Says:

We had a great Spring, Summer and Autumn with him and he won six races and he ended up being placed in the Persian War at Chepstow on ground that was too slow for him. He has had a bit of a break and I would imagine he will be running at Musselburgh on New Years Day. He will like that sort of ground and there is a couple of races up there for that type of horse before possibly having a big day in the Spring.

Video Form
15 Oct 2017:
6 May 2017:
29 Mar 2017:
26 Dec 2016:
2 Dec 2016:

Derintoher Yank (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of four of his 18 starts and currently rated 134 over fences. Runner-up in his last three outings over fences and finished runner-up, beaten 13 lengths, to Deauville Dancer in a novices’ handicap at Doncaster (2m 3f) on Saturday.

Trainer Says:

He has done well and his first race over fences at Cartmel was a bit hit and miss but he was following Wisty around then who is a Cartmel specialist. I have been very happy with him since and he has done nothing wrong and we are getting plenty of experience into him. He has a way of racing which just keeps him competitive.

Video Form
2 Dec 2017:
28 Nov 2017:
2 Dec 2016:
8 Jul 2016:
29 Apr 2016:

Federici

Form Profile:

Winner of six of his 38 starts and currently rated 129 over fences. Scored by three lengths from Cooking Fat on his latest start in a handicap chase at Kelso (2m 5 1/2f) in November off a mark of 124.

Trainer Says:

Federici came back and won at Kelso where we rode him positively. It seemed to work and he did it well and he is going to run in the Sefton as I don’t think he will get in the Becher Chase. He jumped round it last year when we rode him a little less positively where he finished sixth staying on nicely in a big field. I am hoping for a big run.

Video Form
27 Jan 2018:
26 Mar 2017:
1 Feb 2017:
6 Nov 2016:
13 Oct 2016:

Fin And Game (IRE)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Oscar - Miss Cilla (Shernazar)
  • Trained by: D McCain Jnr
  • Last Race: Ayr, 20 Apr 2018 14:05
  • Result: 4/5, in touch, tracked winner from 3rd, lost place 2 out, soon ridden and one pace, no chance with leaders from last
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 3 starts. Promise in both of his bumper and made the perfect start to his hurdling career at Wetherby (2m) last week when scoring by nine lengths from Not That Fuisse.

Trainer Says:

We have always liked him although he is still very raw and immature but you couldn’t help but be impressed with the way he won last week at Wetherby. We will go quiet with him and give him time between his races but he can only improve.

Video Form
2 Mar 2018:

Golden Investment (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of two of his 14 starts and currently rated 113 over fences. Returned to winning form with a length and three quarter success from Doktor Glaz in a handicap chase at Wetherby (3m) in November off a mark of 106.

Trainer Says:

He is going to run at Carlisle this weekend where the ground is too soft for him but he is eligible for one of those final at Carlisle but he is going to run because of the poor field sizes. He stays three miles very well and probably stays further. He wants a bit of nice ground and he got that a Wetherby the other day where the two of them came clear. Long distance chases will be for him.

Video Form
6 Jun 2017:
8 Apr 2017:
11 Mar 2017:
28 Nov 2015:

Henry's Joy (IRE)

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Craigsteel - Shocona (Oscar Schindler)
  • Trained by: D McCain Jnr
  • Last Race: Stratford, 20 May 2018 14:00
  • Result: 2/3, tracked winner, challenged 2 out, ridden between last 2, one pace and no impression before last, kept on but always held flat
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Runner-up in a bumper at Aintree in November and finished fourth, beaten 17 ½ lengths, to Don’t Ask on his hurdling bow at Bangor (2m) on Saturday.

Trainer Says:

He ran a nice race behind a decent horse at Aintree in a small field bumper last month and he ran a reasonable first race over hurdles at Bangor on Saturday. He is the sort that will keep progressing and win his novice hurdles this season.

Video Form
23 Mar 2018:
12 Jan 2018:

Inniscastle Lad

Form Profile:

No wins from 3 starts over hurdles and currently rated 114 over hurdles. Finished third, beaten a length, to Jassas at Newcastle (2m 1/2f) on his latest start in November.

Trainer Says:

He should have won the other day at Newcastle but by all accounts the hurdles were very upright and he just missed out at the last and land on all four and a couple went by him. He stuck to the job quite well and will be winning very soon.

Video Form
3 Mar 2018:
29 Jan 2018:
8 Dec 2017:
17 Nov 2017:
25 Oct 2017:

Katachenko (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of four of his 19 starts and currently rated 131 over fences. Unseated rider at the Canal Turn when leading in the Topham Trophy at Aintree (2m 5f) last April off his current mark.

Trainer Says:

He has been ready to run for a couple of weeks and he is going to run at Aintree in the Becher Chase or a two and a half mile handicap chase on the same day. He is a little bit ground dependent and wouldn’t want the ground too soft. He is owned by Mr Hemming and I would say he will be going to Aintree for one or the other. It didn’t quite happen for him last year and we are still not quite sure what trip he wants. He was running quite well in the Topham when he unseated on the Canal Turn when in front and hopefully he will have a good season.

Video Form
10 Dec 2016:
25 Nov 2016:
29 Dec 2015:
28 Nov 2015:

Knock House (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of five of his 20 starts and currently rated 139 over fences and 130 over hurdles. Pulled up in two of his three starts last season.

Trainer Says:

We had a few problems with him at the end of last season and he is back in full work again now and getting quite close to a run. I would think he would have a run in a staying hurdle before we go chasing again.

Video Form
10 Dec 2016:
16 Oct 2015:

Knockrobin (IRE)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Robin Des Pres - Tudor Style (Montelimar)
  • Trained by: D McCain Jnr
  • Last Race: Perth, 25 Apr 2018 14:35
  • Result: PU/3, went left at times, led or disputed to before 4 out, weakened before next, tailed off when jumped left, stopped to a trot 2 out and pulled up
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of his only point-to-point in Ireland and finished fourth, beaten six lengths, to Uncle Alistair in a novice hurdle at Carlisle (2m 4f) on Sunday.

Trainer Says:

He is a big old fashioned chasing type and a nice horse. He ran well on his hurdling debut at Carlisle and hopefully he can win a couple of novice hurdles but he will be chasing next season.

Video Form
13 Apr 2018:

Lastbutnotleast (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of four of her 6 races and currently rated 135 over hurdles. Won her three starts last season which culminated in a three and a quarter length victory from Happy Diva in a listed mares hurdle at Doncaster (3m 1/2f) in March.

Trainer Says:

She ran in a listed mares race at Carlisle on Sunday but unfortunately broke a blood vessel. She likes soft ground and she will want three miles. The mares chase system isn’t the best but she should do well in the sphere.

Video Form
4 Mar 2017:
7 Dec 2016:
6 Mar 2016:

Lofgren

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Multiplex - Sherry Darling (Alflora)
  • Trained by: D McCain Jnr
  • Last Race: Haydock, 12 May 2018 17:25
  • Result: 2/7, in touch in mid-division, outpaced after 13th, plugged on from 3 out, went 2nd approaching last, flattered by proximity to winner
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of four of his 24 starts and currently rated 126 over fences. Last successful in a novices’ handicap chase at Kelso (2m 1f) in May when beating Martiloo 12 lengths.

Trainer Says:

He has had a bit of a break and is back in work now. He will be running just after Christmas and he became pretty solid and was running some nice races. He is a nice young horse.

Video Form
26 Aug 2017:
4 May 2017:
26 Mar 2017:
9 Jan 2017:
30 Oct 2016:

Lough Derg Jewel (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of two of his 8 starts and currently rated 123 over fences. Scored by a length and a quarter from Chateau Robin in a novices’ handicap chase at Ayr (2m 4 1/2f) on his latest start in November off a mark of 118.

Trainer Says:

He won over fences the other day and did it well and jumped great. The ground would have been a bit slow for him but you couldn’t be anything other than be pleased with his performance. He will want three miles and a bit of nice ground and his jumping is exceptional.

Video Form
23 Jan 2017:

Man Look

Form Profile:

Winner of six of his 26 starts and currently rated 122 over hurdles. Gained his last success with a three and a quarter length defeat of Cave Top off a mark of 116 at Bangor (2m 3 1/2f) in October.

Trainer Says:

He is not the best jumper of hurdles in the world but is appearing to get the grip of it now. We have backed off him since his run at Cheltenham last time where the ground was nothing like as described. I think he ran with credit given the conditions and we will go somewhere again over Christmas.

Video Form
2 Mar 2018:
31 Aug 2017:
4 May 2017:
11 Feb 2017:
27 Jan 2017:

Middlebrow (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of two of his 10 starts and currently rated 110 over fences. Returned to winning form with a ten length victory from Oak Vintage at Catterick (2m 3f) latest start off a mark of 101.

Trainer Says:

He won the other day and is was nearly the last chance with him but we changed a couple of things at home and he got his head in front and did it well. The handicapper gave him enough for what he had done but the front two were clear and it was a step forward.

Video Form
5 Sep 2017:
8 Nov 2016:
3 May 2016:

Mr Mcgo (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of two of his 5 starts and currently rated 135 over hurdles. Last win in a novices’ chase at Chepstow (2m 3 1/2f) in January when beating Fly Camp ten lengths.

Trainer Says:

He has had a little bit of a setback but is coming back into work in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully we can start going forward with him and whether we run him over fences or not this time I am not sure right now. He is a horse we think plenty of.

Video Form
8 Jan 2017:
12 Nov 2016:

Ofcourseiwill

  • 5 b g Publisher – Camden Princess
Form Profile:

Winner of his only point-to-point in Ireland.

Trainer Says:

He is another point-to-pointer who did it well when winning his point. He is about a fortnight off a run and might run in a bumper or we might kick on straight with hurdles but he is going to be a nice staying chaser.

Rockalzaro (FR)

Form Profile:

Winner of two of his five starts and currently rated 124 over hurdles. Scored by three and a half lengths from The Steward in a novices’ hurdle at Catterick (1m 7 1/2f) in November.

Trainer Says:

He had a nice run around over hurdles at Kelso then we bounced him out at Catterick the other day where he ran around in front but did his job well enough. He wouldn’t want the ground too deep but he seems to be progressing nicely at the moment.

Video Form
22 May 2018:
26 Dec 2017:
1 Feb 2017:

Same Circus (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of two of her 10 starts and currently rated 120 over fences. Runner-up, beaten three quarters of a length, to Sparkling River in a novices’ handicap chase at Warwick (2m 4f) in November off a mark of 119.

Trainer Says:

She ran a really nice first race over fences at Warwick the other day and jumped great. Two and a half miles is too sharp for her and she will want three miles. I think she will win plenty of races in mares company.

Video Form
9 Jan 2018:
26 Nov 2016:
8 Oct 2016:

Secret Escape (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of two of her four bumpers start and fourth, beaten five and three quarter lengths, to Posh Trish at Cheltenham on latest start in November.

Trainer Says:

She was a little unlucky at Cheltenham as the ground went very deep and Will (Kennedy) rode her sensibly. She just didn’t get a run a couple of times and in another couple of strides she would have finished third and got her black type which would have been ideal. She is only a handy filly but has been running in the best mares bumpers this season and running with credit. She is well schooled over hurdles and she will be going and jumping hurdles somewhere over Christmas.

Sonic (IRE)

Form Profile:

Placed in both of his bumpers and runner-up, beaten five lengths, to Town Head at Musselburgh last week.

Trainer Says:

He ran well at Musselburgh last week and is only small but a very solid professional little horse that we quite like. We will have a lot of fun with him over hurdles.

Video Form
13 May 2018:
5 May 2018:

Swashbuckle

Form Profile:

Winner three times on the Flat for Andrew Balding.

Trainer Says:

He was a useful Flat horse for Andrew Balding and wanted two miles on the Flat. He is a big horse and has schooled really well so far. I am looking forward to running him.

Video Form
5 May 2018:
20 Mar 2018:
2 Mar 2018:
13 Feb 2018:
22 Mar 2017:

Testify (IRE)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Witness Box - Tanya Thyne (Good Thyne)
  • Trained by: D McCain Jnr
  • Last Race: Aintree, 13 Apr 2018 14:50
  • Result: PU/9, tracked front pair on outside, lost place 12th, soon behind and struggling, tailed off when pulled up before 4 out
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of three of his 6 starts and currently rated 134 over fences. Made a pleasing start to his chasing career when beating Tommy Silver a length and a half at Bangor (2m 1 1/2f) last Saturday.

Trainer Says:

He had schooled well over fences and made a very pleasing start at Bangor last weekend when jumping soundly to be a previous winner in Tommy Silver. Some of his form over hurdles was pretty good and he looks the sort to make an even better chaser.

Video Form
25 Feb 2017:
20 Jan 2017:

The Clock Leary (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of five of his 25 starts and currently rated 130 over fences. Gained his last success at Perth (3m) in September when scoring by three quarters of a length from Urtheoneiwant off a mark of 128.

Trainer Says:

He is having a bit of a break at the moment and did well over the Summer. He will be back in the New Year and is an old horse who continues to compete well. He will be running in those two and a half and three miles handicap chases and will, hopefully, keep earning his corn.

Ubaltique (FR)

Form Profile:

Winner of eight of his 43 races and currently rated 123 over fences. Finished third, beaten 24 lengths, to Un Prophete at Exeter (2m 1 1/2f) in November off his current mark.

Trainer Says:

He has made a better start to this season than he has done most seasons. He just needs a race to fall his way for it to happen on deep ground where horses fade away in front of him as he needs to be held up. I think as long as he stays healthy he should be winning soon.

Video Form
8 Jan 2017:
28 Mar 2016:
10 Dec 2015:

Uppertown Prince (IRE)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Strategic Prince - Tarrawarra (Kayf Tara)
  • Trained by: D McCain Jnr
  • Last Race: Aintree, 13 Apr 2018 16:40
  • Result: 4/13, tracked leaders on inside, pecked 2nd, pushed along when not much room 3 out, beaten before last, one pace in 4th flat
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Made a winning debut over hurdle at Bangor (2m 3 1/2f) last Saturday when beating The Dellercheckout seven lengths.

Trainer Says:

We thought he was a nice horse and he proved us right when winning well at Bangor last weekend. He is a big raw slightly immature horse who can only improve and we look forward to him progressing through the season.

Viserion

Form Profile:

Winner of five of his 23 starts and currently rated 118 over fences. Creditable effort when sixth, beaten two and three quarter lengths, to Rhymers Storm at Carlisle (2m 1f) in November off a mark of 119.

Trainer Says:

He ran well at Carlisle on his latest start where the ground was a bit slow and he didn’t get the gaps when needed and wasn’t beaten far. It was a step in the right direction and I would say he would be very competitive off his mark.

Video Form
8 Dec 2017:
7 Apr 2017:
25 Jun 2016:
17 Feb 2016:
7 Feb 2016:

Waterlord

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Cape Cross - Shell Garland (Sadler's Wells)
  • Trained by: D McCain Jnr
  • Last Race: Bangor, 24 Mar 2018 16:00
  • Result: F/7, led, soon clear, not fluent 2nd, reduced lead next, headed after 4th, led again after 3 out, headed 2 out, 5 lengths down and beaten when fell last
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of three of his 6 starts. Finished sixth, beaten five and three quarter lengths, to Delire D’Estruval in a listed novices’ hurdle at Haydock (1m 7 1/2f) in November,

Trainer Says:

I ran him straight in a listed novices hurdle at Haydock and the ground was probably too slow for him but the main thing was to get him out and back in one piece. He wasn’t beaten that far and he has come back well.

What Happens Now (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of seven of his 18 races and currently rated 129 over fences. Scored by nine lengths from Indian Castle in an amateur riders handicap chase at Cheltenham (3m 1f) in October off a mark of 122.

Trainer Says:

He has been running really well and the last time at Cheltenham they were saying it was good to soft and no way was it anything like that. To his credit he was going nowhere down the hill and he was running second but they rushed by him at the last. That was another solid run and he appears a model of consistency at the moment. We will find the nicest ground we can in the next few weeks and go again.

Video Form
27 May 2018:
16 Mar 2018:
16 Dec 2017:
22 Sep 2017:
21 Aug 2017:

William Of Orange

Form Profile:

Winner of four of his 29 starts and rated 118 over hurdles. Finished runner-up, beaten two and a quarter lengths, to Irish Roe in a handicap hurdle at Doncaster (2m 1/2f) last Saturday off his current mark.

Trainer Says:

He won up at Wetherby the other week and ran another solid race at Doncaster at the weekend and ran a similar race on revise terms with the Wetherby runner-up. He has let me down once or twice before but is clearly in good heart right now.

Video Form
3 Mar 2018:
16 Dec 2017:
2 Dec 2017:
10 Dec 2016:
27 Mar 2016:
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