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Donald McCain holds the key to competitive handicap at the Welsh circuit

Donald McCain: runs Dear Sire in Sunday's big race at Bangor
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3.45 Bangor
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Nobody has saddled more winners at Bangor in the last five seasons than Donald McCain and, with 59 victories in the bank, he has more than double his nearest pursuer Dan Skelton.

Following those McCain runners at the track blindly would have yielded a profit of £80.95 to £1 level stakes and he might hold the key to this with the well-handicapped Dear Sire.

Dear Sire is racing off a mark of 129 back over hurdles with his last two handicap wins in this sphere having been achieved off higher ratings. The latest of those successes came at Musselburgh in February 2018, racing off 8lb more, and his current mark is 9lb lower than his chase rating.

He needs to bounce back from a disappointing run at Musselburgh last time, but returns from a 145-day break with Brian Hughes doing the steering, and the champion jockey has been on board for Dear Sire's last two victories over fences. Everything looks in place for a big run.

Tactics could play a part because it often pays to be on the front end on the hurdles track over this course and distance. Wells De Lune and Some Day Soon both like to force the pace and the prospect of an early battle for the lead tempers enthusiasm for either of them making all the running.

Race analysis by Graeme Rodway


What they say

Jamie Snowden, trainer of Some Day Soon
He was a prolific winner last year and then ran well in a couple of nice races and this looks the right starting point for him. He has a lot of weight but has been going well at home and should take a hand.

Donald McCain, trainer of Dear Sire
Dear Sire is a grand old horse and we've gone back to hurdles with him as he was getting a bit brave for his own good over fences.

Tristan Davidson, trainer of Big Time Dancer
We gave him a run on the Flat the other day, but we run him from out of the field as he has bled in the past. As long as he comes home safe and sound I'll be happy.

Oliver Greenall, trainer of Lucky Lover Boy
He usually takes a run to get going so he'll come on for it, but he's been going nicely at home.

Jonjo O'Neill, trainer of Bhutan
He's a grand old horse who'll probably come on for the outing but goes there with a sporting each-way chance.

Harry Whittington, trainer of Neverbeen To Paris
We've schooled him over fences and he'll go that way later on, but we thought we'd give him a spin over hurdles first. We expect him to run a nice race but he's been off a while.

Reporting by David Milnes


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He has a lot of weight but has been going well at home and should take a hand
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