Donald McCain reports Cloudy Dream is progressing on the road back to the racecourse after being sidelined for 13 months.
The nine-year-old has been absent since he sustained an injury when finishing third to Frodon in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree in October 2018, on what was his first start after joining McCain from Ruth Jefferson’s yard.
Cloudy Dream has been recuperating at his owner Trevor Hemmings’ stud in Lancashire, and is now back cantering.
McCain said: “I’m in touch with Mick Meagher (racing manager) at Trevor Hemmings’ place.
“He’s still there and is being ridden every day.
“It’s got to be decided how soon he comes back into training. Obviously the spring is more important than the autumn. We’ll just see, but he picked up that knock in the Old Roan last year, and it just took time to settle.
“I know he’s cantering every day. Mick knows the horse better than me – and I’ll just leave it to them, and they will decide the best way forward.”
Stablemate Navajo Pass has more immediate engagements and may head to Newcastle on Saturday week for the next stage of his education, after making a winning jumps debut at Bangor this month.
McCain is considering the ‘Introductory’ Hurdle on Fighting Fifth day at Gosforth Park for the three-year-old, who switched codes after five races on the Flat yielded one victory and three placed efforts.
The Cheshire trainer said: “He’s a nice horse. It’s been the plan since we bought him to go juvenile hurdling.
“We bought him as a yearling, so it’s the first step down the road.
“He’ll have an entry at Newcastle next weekend in that introductory rac,e in case we want to go again quickly.
“He seems fine and he didn’t have much of a race the other day, so there’s a chance he might head up there, but we’ve got another juvenile that will have an entry there as well – so we’ll just have to see.”
That other juvenile is Goobinator, who got off the mark on the Flat at Southwell recently on his third start and has yet to run over hurdles.
McCain added: “He won his maiden the other day at Southwell – another one of (owner) Mr (Tim) Leslie’s – so both will have entries up there.”
He has yet to decide plans for Minella Trump, who also sports the Leslie colours and made a successful debut over hurdles at Sedgefield this month.
The five-year-old, a point-to-point winner in Ireland, was bought for £90,000 at Goffs UK Sale at Aintree in April.
“It was only a Sedgefield novice hurdle – but he wants further and he’s a nice horse,” said McCain.
“He wasn’t doing a lot in front and he was playing at the job a little bit. It was a good start.
“They are nice young horses, and we’ll just go quietly and pick and choose.”