Donald McCain celebrated a 100-1 shock in the six-furlong maiden for two-year-olds at Pontefract with bargain-buy Our Rodney
Well beaten on his debut four weeks earlier, the gelded son of Canford Cliffs was sent off the joint-biggest outsider in a 10-strong field, but outran both his price and his rivals in division one of the procurementseminars.co.uk EBF Maiden Stakes.
Bought for just £2,500, Our Rodney travelled nicely for Andrew Mullen and was never far off the pace, sticking to his task dourly to wear down Camber close home and score by half a length.
Our Rodney had beaten just one rival at Carlisle last month, when sent off at the same odds – but McCain was not totally without hope.
The Grand National-winning trainer said: “He had plenty to learn, but he didn’t do a lot wrong at Carlisle. He came out a bit slow and was stuck in the middle of the track on his own, but ran a niceish sort of race.
“Did I expect him to win a maiden at Pontefract? No, but I expected him to improve.
“If this place does anything it makes them tough and he stuck his chin out like a pro, which is great.
“I couldn’t get him in the auction races as he was bought outside the ring at Ascot for some reason, so I have to put him in these races.”
Unsurprisingly, Our Rodney’s future is more likely to be over jumps, being with a dual-purpose stable famous for its National Hunt exploits.
“We have every intention of making a three-year-old hurdler out of him next year,” said McCain.
“He’s honest and likeable, but he’ll mature and grew a bit so we won’t overdo him all winter.
“We’ll go again at some point, then get him schooled over the winter and see what we do.
“Today was lovely.”