Ashes to Kempton

  • Last Updated: December 8 2012, 11:59 GMT

Cinders And Ashes is set to bid for a swift return to winning form with an outing in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton later this month.

Cinders And Ashes: Kempton-bound

Last year's Supreme Novices' Hurdle hero was a shade disappointing when second to Countrywide Flame at Newcastle on his reappearance last weekend.

But trainer Donald McCain is happy to blame the testing conditions for that defeat and is looking forward to getting him back on track.

"Obviously amongst all the winners it was a shame Cinders And Ashes couldn't make a winning reappearance in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle but I am far from despondent about it," he said in his exclusive Betfair blog.

"Look, he's been beaten but to my eye he was hating every minute of it on the ground and I think he probably did well to get as close as he did.

"There was absolutely no benefit in him standing in his box any longer - he was ready to run and it was the right race for him - so although he has been beaten, it's not the end of the world.

"I said throughout last season that he would be a better horse on better ground and Saturday was final confirmation to me that he doesn't want it that deep.

"The plan is now to go for the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton - the ground there should be better and, even if it's soft, it won't be anything like heavy going at Newcastle!

"I haven't lost any faith in him and there will be other days for him to show what he can do."

Meanwhile, stablemate Overturn, pulled out of Saturday's Henry VII Novice Chase at Sandown with the ground ruled too testing will also be out in action again before long.

"It was very frustrating to have to miss Sandown," added McCain. "He's absolutely bouncing at home and it looked a suitable race for him, but I am not going to run him on that ground for the sake of it.

"There are no firm plans with him in the short term but he's in absolutely cracking nick and something suitable will turn up."

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