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Donald McCain Stable Tour
Fri, Feb 24th, 2012

We have been tracking news on the McCain stable and adding videos, interviews and stable tours as Donald provides updates through the 2012-13 National Hunt season. Click on this link for his thoughts on 2013 Cheltenham Festival Horses.

Earlier in the season he had provided these updates.

On 18th December via Betfair when he outlined plans for the festive period:

Below we have Donald's interview with Matt Chapman of ATR earlier in December 2012.

He provides progress reports and latest plans for his big guns Overturn, Peddlers Cross and Cinders and Ashes.

Earlier in the season Betfair caught up with their columnist ahead of the Betfair Chase meeting at Haydock:

Donald McCain have outlined the initial plans for his stable stars including Cinders and Ashes, Peddlers Cross, Overturn  his Grand National winner Ballabriggs and the well handicapped Ile de Re in an earlier ATR interview:

McCain also wrote of his plans in his Betfair Column:

Peddlers Cross: I said straight after Cheltenham that Peddlers Cross would be back over hurdles and the plan is to start him off in the Ascot race that Overturn won last year (November 24th).It's over 2m4f which should be a good starting point and, all things being well, I hope to step him up to 3m at some stage. That will mean taking on Big Buck's but you can't run scared of these challenges and my faith in Peddlers Cross hasn't wavered.

The ATR video indicated that Peddlers Cross would start in the 2012 Ascot Hurdle won last year year Overturn.

Overturn is absolutely bouncing at home and has been ready to run for a while. With the new novice chase structure, it's been hard to try and find the right race for him as I am not just going to send him anywhere.With the ground as it is at the moment, I am happy to wait until the right opportunity comes along but he has schooled very well and he is a very exciting prospect for novice chases.He's got an entry at Carlisle on Thursday but I wouldn't think he would go there unless it dries out quickly - Super Duty is also in the same race and he is another very exciting novice chase prospect who is ready to go.

Cinders and Ashes: It was one of the highlights of last season when Cinders And Ashes won at the Festival - I told everyone he wanted better ground and they didn't believe me! The plan is to go back to Cheltenham in March for the Champion Hurdle but that's a lo ng way off and his run in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle (December 1st) should tell us exactly where we stand. He's very good but until you start mixing it with the big boys, you are never quite sure what you have. We should know a lot more after Newcastle and future plans are fluid until he has his reappearance behind him.

Ile De Re has been a star for us on the Flat this year (runs at Ascot on Saturday) and he is an exciting prospect for hurdling this winter. I am keen to run him in one of the big handicap hurdles with the race that was the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham the obvious starting point.The worry is that with his current rating of 123, he wouldn't be sure to get in so it is a bit of a dilemma. There is a £50,000 handicap at Ascot which would be another option and I don't want to end up sidestepping that and not getting in at Cheltenham.Either way, he is going to be an exciting prospect if he can transfer his improvement on the Flat to hurdling.

Ballabriggs: Everything was geared around the Grand National for Ballabriggs last season but I fully expect him to be seen more often this year.He's really starting to come to hand at home and I am trying to finalise plans with the owner - he is going to get an entry in the Hennessy but that's not a race that I am a big fan of and we will have to wait and see - the Charlie Hall would be another possible - either way, he is only three weeks off a run.

Weird Al: The Charlie Hall is also on the agenda for Weird Al if I can get him ready in time. We know he goes well fresh but we haven't got long with him and it wouldn't be the end of the world if he didn't go there.He was aimed at the Gold Cup for much of last season but he showed enough at Aintree to think it was worth aiming him at the National this time round.

Our Mick had a great first season over fences and he is on course for the big Intermediate Chase at Carlisle on November 4th, while Wymott might have a run beforehand but the Becher Chase at Aintree is his main aim in the first half of the season.

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