Donald McCain continued his fine start to the jumps season with an across-the-card 143-1 four-timer on Thursday.
A treble at Carlisle with Hart Of Steel (10-1), Malpas (13-8 favourite) and Armattiekan (11-8 favourite) and victory for See The Sea (11-10 favourite) at Wincanton from just six runners took his tally for the campaign to 40.
The Cholmondeley handler sits in third place in the trainers’ championship behind Fergal O’Brien and Paul Nicholls on prize-money.
“It’s been a great day’s work. Everyone has been working their socks off. It’s hard work at the moment, but I’ve got a great team at home and days like this are good,” said McCain.
“It’s just grand. Everyone’s working very hard and it’s always easier to get up in the morning when things are going well.”
McCain recorded a near 68-1 treble on the card at Carlisle. The 2019/20 champion jockey Brian Hughes was on board for two of those, beginning with Malpas (13-8 Favourite) in the Rachael Bell Wealth Management Novices' Hurdle.
The six year old had twice fallen when last seen in the spring and Hughes was pleased to see everything come together for the son of Milan, who scooted clear to record a five and a half-length success.
He said: “We got round! He was probably just a bit raw last year and there was a time where we felt he had the race at his mercy before tipping up, but hopefully he can continue improving now. It’s been a good start to the season for myself, the yard is in fine form and hopefully it can continue into the winter.”
Hughes doubled up with Armattiekan (11-8 Favourite), who showed a fine attitude to get on top late home in the Like Racing TV On Facebook Handicap Chase, and he commented: “He’s done that well and he’s run fairly consistently all year, it wasn’t a particularly strong heat but he did it nicely and he’s got a good attitude. He’s quite versatile and I know he wears blinkers but every day he tries.”
Elsewhere on the card, McCain was also successful with Hart Of Steel (10-1), who struck in the opening Introducing Racing TV Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle for Theo Gillard, while the seven year old Set In Stone (5-1) showed a good attitude to return to winning ways for the Rebecca Menzies team in division two of the Racing TV Handicap Hurdle.
The closing race on the card was the Visit racingtv.com Open National Hunt Flat Race, which saw young jockey Ben Brackbury hold off Brian Hughes in a thrilling finish to record just a second winner of his fledging career on the Alex Hales-trained Feel Like De Baune (17-2).
The five year old has been bought for Brackenbury to hone his skills and showed the benefit of his two previous runs when knuckling down well in the finish under his rider, holding off the attentions of debutant Stroll On By to win by a nose.
And winning trainer Alex Hales was thrilled for winning connections. He said: “It’s nice when a plan comes together! We bought the horse for Ben to ride, sadly they had a good bumper horse last year called Sun Rising Hill who we lost, so we bought this lad and it’s worked out well.
“He’s stepped forward each time and he’s a big galloper, so we wanted to come to a stiff track like this. It worked a treat and I’m just delighted for Ben and the owners, they’ve put a lot in and it’s his dream. It’s what he wants to do and we’re making it come true.”
Jockey Peter Kavanagh hopes he can now “kick on and rattle down” his seven pound claim after securing the fifth winner of his career aboard See The Sea in the MansionBet Faller Insurance Handicap Hurdle at Wuncanton.
The 21 year old, who is attached to winning trainer McCain’s yard, made it two wins in eight days aboard the 11-10 favourite who followed up her last time out victory at Ludlow by five lengths in the two-mile prize.
Kavanagh said: “I moved over to Donald’s last November. My old boss Colin Bowe is a good friend of his. I came over for a week’s trial and I loved it so I moved over.
“I’ve been tipping away during the summer getting more experience but now the winter is coming hopefully I can pick up a few more rides.
“That’s my 10lb claim gone and now I’m down to seven. Hopefully I can now kick on and rattle that down.
“She (See The Sea) just loves it out in front and when she is on her A game is hard to beat. She loves that quick ground.”
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