McCain believes that Lexi’s up for the Cup

Donald McCain believes Lexi’s Boy has plenty going for him as the improving four-year-old steps up in class for the bet365 Old Newton Cup at Haydock today.

With the soft ground and trip of a mile and a half in his favour, the Cholmondeley trainer was not concerned Lexi’s Boy was put up 10lb for his latest win the Cumberland Plate as it secured the grey gelding a place in the competitive and valuable handicap.

“This is a big step up in grade but the horse is well and it looks like the ground is going to suit, so there’s no reason not to go,” said McCain.

“We needed to go up in the weights to get in the race so on that score we can’t complain about it.

“It’s a good race but he’s in good nick, so it’s fingers crossed.”

At the other end of the handicap scale, trainer Michael Bell has booked 7lb claimer Thomas Garner for the mount on top weight Allied Powers.

“It’s my first ride for Mr Bell and I’m very lucky it’s with a good horse like this,” said Garner.

“The last time he won the ground was described as very soft, so hopefully they’ll have plenty of rain and the ground will be testing.

“He’s a good horse with a touch of class and if anyone can carry top weight it would probably be him.

“This will be my first ride since I had a plate removed from my collarbone two weeks ago so it’s very exciting.

“I’ve been having physio every day since then and my movement is actually better now than it was when the plate was in my collarbone.”

Easy Terms has been a revelation with six wins in her last seven starts and the mare’s trainer Edwin Tuer expects her to relish the expected testing conditions.

“Every time she runs now she has to step up a gear, and one of these days she’ll get found out,” said the North Yorkshire handler.

“She goes well on heavy ground, which is part of the reason we’re running here rather than at York (John Smith’s Cup) as she might get taken off her feet next week.

“It’s a bit of concern that she hasn’t had a run for 50 days – that’s not her fault, there’s nothing wrong with her – but we think she’s revved up again and back on song.

“We’ll find out on Saturday if the handicapper has her or not.”

Andrew Balding is hoping Dreamspeed can make his comeback complete after the five-year-old only returned to action at Newbury in May from 18 months on the sidelines.

Balding reports the Barathea gelding, winner of the Epsom Derby Trial before finishing fifth in the Italian Derby in 2010, to have come on a bundle for a race.

“He was a good three-year-old. He won the Derby Trial at Epsom and then he had problems all last year,” said the Kingsclere trainer.

“He didn’t run and needed his comeback run and he’s just really come on a bundle for that.

“Hopefully we’ll see the best of him on Saturday. He’s a talented horse.”

David O’Meara feels War Poet will be more at home on the ground at Haydock than he was at Newmarket last Saturday.

“We did what we said we’d never do at Newmarket and that was run him on fast ground, it should be much more suitable at Haydock,” said the North Yorkshire trainer. He’s better over a mile and a half than a mile and a quarter, I think he’ll even get a mile and six. The trouble was he won over 10 furlongs and that messed things up a bit.”

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