Our Mick live Scottish Grand National chance for Ayr aficionado McCain
Donald McCain has sent 108 competitors on the 217 mile haul from his base in Cholmondeley, Cheshire to Ayr during the past five years, gaining 34 winners from the exercise. However his stunning 31 per cent strike rate at the track is just one of the reasons to consider the stable’s Our Mick, a live 12/1 shot in the Scottish Grand National betting.
McCain boasts an even better win-to-run percentage when only his chase runners at the track are considered, with 13 of his 35 runners in the same period taking the laurels.
The trainer is familiar face at Ayr with only Lucinda Russell, Jim Goldie and Nicky Richards sending more horses to the Firth Of Clyde track during the past five years, yet during that period he’s saddled only runner in the marathon chase that’s become the jumps course’s trademark – his Idle Talk finishing seventh in 2009.
That a handler so experienced at training course winners has chosen to point quality young handicapper our Mick at a race he so rarely enters a candidate speaks volumes for the kind of performance expected from the seven-year-old.
Our Mick’s career has been a byword for consistent competitiveness, with McCain’s gelding finishing out of the first three just once in 14 completed starts.
His second placed finish behind Golden Chieftain in the JLT Speciality Handicap Chase at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival was a fine effort for his second run of the season, achieved as it was off a 1lb higher mark than his third in the same contest a year previously.
Last season Our Mick continued to improve throughout the season, scoring in Grade 2 novice company on his third start, before finishing just three lengths behind the 151-rated For Non-Stop in a Newbury Grade 1 on his next outing.
The heavy ground currently expected at Ayr will inconvenience many of his competitors, but Donald McCain’s gelding has finished in the first three in five of his seven runs on going described as soft or heavy. Being relatively lightly raced at this stage in a gruelling season largely contested on heavy going should see Our Mick find plenty left in the tank when the going gets tough.