Chester: trialled horses over hurdles at the track on MondayPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
McCain plays down faller at Chester hurdles trial
CHESTER will continue to investigate the introduction of hurdle racing, possibly as early as next year, despite the last-flight fall of one of the horses invited for a trial session at the track on Monday.
Jason Maguire's unnamed mount, unraced under rules, was in the first of two groups of five Donald McCain-trained runners who galloped round two laps of the tight circuit, taking eight obstacles in total.
He came down at the final flight, sited by the furlong-pole at the top of the home straight, and lay winded as the screens were erected around him but he got up and walked away apparently unscathed after a couple of minutes.
"The ground caught the boys out, he wasn't quite 100 per cent fit and he got tired," said McCain. "I would rather it hadn't happened but no harm was done. We had a mishap today but I don't see this place is any more dangerous than any other course."
McCain remains a supporter of the project and said: "There has been a lot of rubbish in the papers. I think Chester deserve a pat on the back, it is a fantastic initiative. They are a very forward-thinking racecourse and if they think it will attract a crowd, why not?"
Despite the fall Maguire, who was joined in the trial by Brian Hughes, Brian Harding and Will Kennedy among others, said: "It rode well though you wouldn't want to be rattling round."
Clerk of the course Andrew Morris said: "We think there is the potential to provide an exciting spectacle but it is very, very early stages. There's a whole list of challenges we have to work our way through and this is just the very first stage and there is no firm commitment to do it."