Donald McCain Blog – Weekend Runners & Cheltenham Changes - (2021)
There has been lots of talk around the reduction in distance of the 4 miler during the week and to be fair I knew they were going to have to do something and I’m glad they have kept in place in a similar format with amateur riders.
I don’t think the changes are of any great detriment to the race and I suppose there aren’t many 4 mile horses around for it. I don; think the race was as bad as they made out last year but changes had to come and it’s not a bad one.
In regards to the new mares chase being introduced, I suppose there really should be a mares chase final somewhere but for me, the problem with the mares chases is that there isn’t really a mares chase programme over here. It’s definitely not supported as much as the mares hurdle system is at present. Yes, there should be a race and I suppose Cheltenham is the right place for it but there isn’t the structure of mares chases through the season to support it properly.
Which race should go has been a big discussion point and for me, the race that will go is the novice handicap chase. However, the race I think that should go is the cross country race because they just crawl around and then sprint for the last half mile. If it was a handicap I would get it but it’s very specialised and there is too much twisting and turning on the course itself.
Just the two runners this weekend at Perth and Southwell but I’d still be hopeful of having a winner from one of the. My thoughts on both their chances can be read below
Track: Perth – 3:40
Jockey: Brian Hughes
This is a great race for him really with a £30K prize pool up for grabs. Obviously, he has to gove lots of weight away to his rivals but he’s been running well all year and didn’t get the luck he needed at Market Rasen, so should run well.
Track: Southwell – 3:50
Jockey: Brian Hughes
He’s been in good nick of late but wouldn’t want too much rain to fall. They are calling it good at the moment but it looks like there could be a fair bit of rain heading that way. Previously we weren’t convinced that he’d get the 3 miles but I think he will get it fine here and should go well.
Best Chance: Nayati
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