McCain growing in confidence as National countdown underway

DONALD McCain admits he can see why Cloudy Lane is such a red-hot favourite for the John Smith’s Grand National.

The son of Ginger “Mr Aintree” McCain has made a fantastic start to his training career with two Cheltenham Festival winners in the bag in his first two years.

McCain’s father secured four Grand Nationals, winning three times with the legendary Red Rum and then famously again in 2004 with Amberleigh House.

And with Cloudy Lane as low as 11-2 with some bookmakers, many people believe there will be another McCain added to the illustrious role of honour on Saturday.

“There aren’t really any similarities between him and Red Rum because Red was one of his own but there is a bit with Amberleigh House,” said McCain.

“They are both pretty small horses and very professional in their work and on the track.

“I don’t think any horse should be 6-1 for the National five weeks before the race like he was, but I can also see that the bookmakers didn’t really have a choice because he is 20lb well-in.

“Nothing has really come out of the pack, apart from David Pipe’s horse (Comply Or Die) who won at Newcastle, so it’s a case of finding one to back against him,” McCain told At The Races.

“I wouldn’t put anyone off backing Idle Talk each-way either.”

Meanwhile Clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch is confident the meeting will take place on near-perfect ground.

“The National course is good to soft and soft in places. We had four millimetres of rain overnight and another four to five during the day, but we actually got away lightly during the day yesterday,” he said.

“I think we will have a few showers later this afternoon and tomorrow and then on Tuesday it is set to brighten up with sunny spells and showers, which is the forecast for the rest of the week before the start of the meeting.

“We’ve got a terrific grass covering so hopefully it will dry out from today onwards.

“It will be no worse than good and the temperatures are getting up to 13 and 14 degrees, nice weather, which is something we haven’t seen much of lately.”

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