Peddlers in line for World Hurdle
PEDDLERS Cross earned a crack at the Ladbrokes World Hurdle after passing his test in the Howies Restaurants Edinburgh Hurdle at Musselburgh.
Sent off the 1-5 favourite, more could have been expected of the 2011 Champion Hurdle runner-up but jockey Jason Maguire was pleased enough with his one-and-three-quarter-length victory over Keith Reveley's Cue To Cue.
Speaking on Racing UK, McCain said: "My first thought was that he could have been a little more impressive, but when I spoke to Jason he was full of him and he's the man that matters.
"He was happy with everything that we were worried about and he said his jumping was exceptional and he can't understand why we ever tried him over fences.
"Jason said he felt more like a World Hurdle horse than he ever has.
"I think the World Hurdle has to be his target but I'll have another talk with Tim (Leslie, owner).
"You don't see the best of these horses until they are going championship pace when they settle better.
"Make no mistake Peddlers Cross hasn't changed, his work is still exceptional."
Ladbrokes left Peddlers Cross unchanged at 10-1 for the World Hurdle on March 14.
McCain and Maguire doubled up in the bumper with Plan Again (5-2).
David O'Meara can be thinking of Cheltenham with Ifandbutwhynot (3-1) after his stylish victory in the CMYK Digital Solutions Handicap Hurdle.
His wins over Eduard and Tanerko Emery earlier this season have worked out well and he brushed off a disappointing display at Sandown under Timmy Murphy, who made the long journey for just one ride with a near three-length win over Ultimate.
Danny Cook was handed a two-day ban on the runner-up.
"The key to him is if he settles. We slowed up mid-race and I was a lot handier than I wanted to be," said Murphy.
"I think all those competitive two-mile handicaps like the County Hurdle will be right up his street, he loves passing horses. I think he's better left-handed."
Paddy Brennan was another jockey to make the trip for just one mount and his was also a winner as God's Own (11-10 favourite) strolled home by 22 lengths in the Country Refreshments Novices' Hurdle.
The Tom George-trained former pointer had finished third behind My Tent Or Yours at Huntingdon last time out.
Brennan said: "When I rode him at Huntingdon I was unbelievably impressed by My Tent Or Yours and I said after the race he was one of the best horses I'd ever ridden against.
"It was only a novice hurdle at Huntingdon but this lad proved what sort of level of form we are talking about.
"I'll leave all plans to the boss but he's something to look forward to."
Northern Irishman Ian Duncan now trains in Scotland and Golden Sparkle (10-1) landed a deserved success in the Country Refreshments Handicap Hurdle.
"She needs good ground and she likes Musselburgh. She's run over hurdles eight times and apart from the time she fell she's never been out of the first three," said Duncan.
"She's consistent and genuine and certainly deserved to win.
"Graham Watters gave her a very good ride and she was going away at the end."
Lucinda Russell followed up a treble at Ayr on Tuesday with Wild Geese (6-1) in the Exception Limited 10th Anniversary Handicap Chase, her 50th winner of the season.