"All systems go" for Overturn
With more than two months still to go to Cheltenham, Donald McCain is counting down the days to the Arkle Chase with this week's Doncaster winner Overturn.
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Last year's Champion Hurdle runner-up may return to the same track for one more outing over fences before the Festival, according to the trainer.
"It's been a slightly frustrating spell with plenty of seconds but there was a definite positive at Doncaster in the week when Overturn passed his second test over fences with flying colours," McCain said in his column for Betfair.com.
"It's always heart in your mouth stuff with him given the way he goes about things but he has always schooled well and some of his leaps were spectacular in getting the better of a fair horse. He was clever when he had to be, too, which was encouraging and it's all systems go for Cheltenham.
"I said after last week's race that the likeliest next stop was another race back at Doncaster in a couple of weeks time but that is obviously dependent on him coming out of this race well and the ground being suitable.
"He's very enthusiastic at home but he still takes a bit of getting ready and he will be a good deal sharper and fitter come Cheltenham in March.
"That's the day when he can go out, heart on his sleeve, and show the real Overturn and although the likes of Simonsig and Arvika Ligeonniere are clearly very good horses, I wouldn't want to swap - he's a Champion Hurdle runner-up after all.
"It's been suggested that the prospect of a smallish field in the Arkle might help him but if I'm being honest, it won't make much difference if there are two or 22 runners - when he's on his game and he goes off like he can, they won't lead him!"