McCain prefers Pattern-race options for Minella Drama

Minella Drama is unlikely to take up his option in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, with trainer Donald McCain instead looking at graded races.

The eight-year-old performed with great credit on his comeback at Aintree on Sunday when beating all bar shock winner Jetoile in the Old Roan Chase under a big weight.

McCain was one of many who felt the race lost some of its lustre with all the fences in the home straight being omitted due to low sun – especially as his horse was in front a long way out.

“He ran an absolute screamer and a lot of people have said some very nice things about him,” said McCain.

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Jetoile wore down Minella Drama in the long home straight
Jetoile wore down Minella Drama in the long home straight (Tim Goode/PA)

“I think everybody who watched the race kind of had the same view – it doesn’t matter now of course – but given he’s such a good jumper, it’s just a shame they took all the fences out because it’s a long way home for his first run of the year.

“But it is what it is, we’ve always had a lot of faith in him, he’s a good horse and I’d just love him to have his big day somewhere.

“The Paddy Power wouldn’t be my go-to, to be honest. He was put in it in case we couldn’t get started somewhere but it’s not the obvious race, I don’t think.

“We’ve got races like the Peterborough Chase (Huntingdon, December 10), the Ascot one (1965 Chase, November 25) and I even put him in the Betfair Chase (Haydock, November 25) in case certain things didn’t turn up, because what he does do is turn up, every day. He runs up to his mark every day.”

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