McCain in no hurry to map out Minella Trump target

Donald McCain is in no rush to decide the next plan of attack with Minella Trump after his progressive chaser completed a five-timer at Sandown on Sunday.

Having supplemented a Perth hat-trick with victory at Sedgefield last month, the seven-year-old continued on his steep upward curve with a successful raid south under Brian Hughes.

McCain believes his charge has benefited from taking small steps after losing his confidence over fences last season.

Reflecting on his latest success, the trainer said: “It was grand and the nice thing was it’s the best he’s jumped on the biggest track he’s jumped.

“I think between us all we thought we might be over-facing him a touch, but he jumped really well.

“This new novice handicap chase thing has really helped horses like him. Horses are now able to get a bit of confidence and step up through the ranks.

“We’ll see what the handicapper does and see what the weather does and play it by ear.

“Obviously he’s been busy, but my daughter Abbie rides him every day and knows him well enough, so if he’s fresh and well and the ground is still around we’ll go somewhere else.”

Another exciting novice chaser for the McCain team this term is Minella Drama.

Minella Drama (centre) scoring at Uttoxeter
Minella Drama (centre) scoring at Uttoxeter (Tim Goode/PA)

Runner-up to My Drogo in a Grade One novice hurdle at Aintree in the spring, the Flemensfirth gelding bolted up on his fencing debut at Uttoxeter before going down by a short head at Carlisle on Monday.

McCain added: “I was not as bothered about getting beaten as Brian (Hughes) was – Brian feels if he’d had his time again he’d have won.

“It was a messy race with horses all over the place. It’s easy afterwards, when you can say you should have bounced him out and got on with it and then the only mistakes are your own.

“It’s almost certainly cost him the race on the day, but we’re trying to make the horse at the same time, especially when you’re looking to go further, so you try to do the job a certain way.

“Plans are up in the air. Brian thinks we should stay at two miles, I don’t know if we need to go a bit further.

“If he’d have won on Monday we’d definitely have gone to Sandown for the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase, but we’ll see.”

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