Bookmakers may not have been impressed by the long odds-on victory of Peddlers Cross at Musselburgh but Donald McCain has lost none of his faith in the 2011 Champion Hurdle runner-up.
Sent off at 1-5 in a four-runner Howies Restaurants Edinburgh Hurdle that had been framed with him in mind, Peddlers Cross tracked his stablemate Ubaltique into the straight before hitting the front. Jason Maguire was only sitting on him until after the last but as Cue To Cue challenged the rider had to pull the whip and while he crossed the line hard held in the end, Coral pushed him out to 14-1 from 10s for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
The sponsors left him unchanged at 10-1. McCain said: “My first thought was that he could have been a little more impressive, but when I spoke to Jason he was full of him and he’s the man that matters. Jason said he felt more like a World Hurdle horse today than he ever has. I think the World Hurdle has to be his target but I’ll have another talk with Tim [Leslie, owner]. You don’t see the best of these horses until they are going championship pace.”
McCain and Maguire also won the closing bumper with Plan Again (5-2).
David O’Meara can be thinking of Cheltenham with Ifandbutwhynot (3-1) after his stylish victory in the CMYK Digital Solutions Handicap Hurdle. He brushed off a disappointing display at Sandown under Timmy Murphy, who made the long journey for just one ride worthwhile with a near three-length win over Ultimate.
Paddy Brennan was another jockey to make the Musselburgh trip for just one ride and his was also a winner as God’s Own (11-10 favourite) strolled home by 22 lengths in the Novices’ Hurdle.
Northern Irishman Ian Duncan now trains in Scotland and Golden Sparkle (10-1) landed a deserved success in the Country Refreshments Handicap Hurdle.
Lucinda Russell followed up a treble at Ayr on Tuesday with Wild Geese (6-1) in the Exception Limited 10th Anniversary Handicap Chase, her 50th winner of the season.
Meanwhile, McCain is expecting a big run by Any Given Day, the top-rated horse in the BetVictor Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso today. The eight-year-old has won and been second on his previous two trips to the borders track and returned after a year off at Newbury in December. His trainer said: “He’s been running over further so he should be better back over a course and trip he has gone well at in the past.”
The field is completed by Duke of Navan, Morning Royalty, Pas Trop Tard and Orsippus, who ran at Musselburgh yesterday.
Dual Scottish Grand National hero Merigo is ridden by Jamie Hamilton in the Amateur Jockeys Association Amateur Riders Handicap
2.10 Riguez Dancer
2.40 Duke Of Navan (nap)
3.40 Funky Munky
4.10 Sacred Mountain
4.40 Flemens Pride
5.00 Brandywell Boy
6.00 Hawaiian Dream
6.30 Prince Of Passion
7.00 Asia Minor
7.30 The Absent Mare
8.00 Harvest Mist
2.00 Denali Highway
2.30 Arthur’s Pass
3.00 Penmore Mill
3.30 Night Force
Duke of Navan