Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Step Up in Class for Lastbutnotleast

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Step Up in Class for Lastbutnotleast

Article excerpt

LASTBUTNOTLEAST aims to improve her already impressive strike-rate in the Charnwood Forest Mares' Chase at Leicester today.

Donald McCain's eight-year-old has won five of her seven races under Rules to date, and one of her two defeats came when she broke a blood vessel on her seasonal reappearance at Carlisle.

She has plenty of followers due to the fact she races in the famous Red Rum colours, left to McCain's mother, Beryl, who owns Lastbutnotleast in partnership with Tim Leslie's wife, Sarah.

She won on testing ground at Haydock last time and will be taking a step up in class to Listed level, where she faces just two rivals.

One of those is Paul Nicholls' Antartica De Thaix, rated 7lb higher than McCain's mare but carrying a 4lb penalty.

Completing the field is Oliver Sherwood's French import Got Away, a faller on her British debut.

McCain said: "We think it's best to keep her against mares for now.

"Soft ground is important to her and we were glad to get her back on track last time out at Haydock.

"It's a small field because of the ground, but she'll love it.

"The time before that she bled, which obviously you'd rather she hadn't, but at least we knew why she ran like that."

Meanwhile, Bristol De Mai will attempt to bounce back from a disappointing run at Kempton when he lines up for the BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday.

A traditional tune-up for the Gold Cup in March, Nigel Twiston-Davies will be hoping for testing ground to allow the Betfair Chase winner to show his best form after his poor show in the King George.

Bristol De Mai has since been treated for stomach ulcers but Anthony Bromley, racing manager for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, said: "The intention at this moment is to run at Cheltenham on Saturday."

The grey is among 10 possibles for the Grade Two over an extended three miles and a furlong. …

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