Overturn wins at Doncaster to signal his Arkle intentions

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Donald McCain sounded a war cry to the connections of red-hot Arkle favourite Simonsig after Overturn maintained his unbeaten record over fences at Doncaster.

Last year’s Champion Hurdle runner-up made a spectacular chasing debut at Sandown earlier in the season, but persistent wet weather had kept him off the track until the 1stsecuritysolutions.co.uk Novices’ Chase, 60 days later.

While Overturn’s jumping was perhaps not quite as exuberant as it had been first time out, he nevertheless threw in some spectacular leaps along the way.

And McCain seems quietly confident about tackling the Henderson hotpot at Cheltenham in March.

Watching Overturn is a fraught business for the trainer and the build-up was not made any easier when jockey Jason Maguire took a crunching fall in the previous race, but he landed odds of 2-9 in winning by 25 lengths.

“He’s had a scoot round and he’s quickened it turning in – that’s Overturn,” said McCain.

“He jumped straight which was good to see as he had a tendency to go to his right over hurdles, but there wasn’t a glimpse of it. It was very pleasing.

“The spectacular jumps are great but they’re for the wall, you want them to fiddle away, that’s the thing that pleased Jason as even when he was wrong he fiddled away.

“It’s another step down the road and it’s out of the way.

“He knows more than us about the game. He’s a wonderful horse and he does whatever you ask of him, I just hope that we never ask him a question he can’t answer.

“The difference between him and Peddlers Cross is a bit of scope over a fence, if anything Peddlers just lacks a little bit.

“The first day of Cheltenham the ground is usually on the soft side of good and he can cope with that, but he will be a sight to be seen when he’s tapping the planks from the moment he jumps off.

“That’s just him, until you jump off and go as quick as you can from the moment you jump off you won’t see the best of him.

“I respect Simonsig massively but we don’t need to be scared of anyone.

“We’ll come back here for the Lightning (Novices’ Chase, January 26) as it’s back to two miles and you know you’ll get just about the best ground in the country.”

York Racecourse has announced record prize money of over £3.2m for this year’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

The overall fund equates to an increase of nine per cent (£270,000) over the four feature days of August 21-24.

The richest race will be the Group One Juddmonte International, the showpiece of the opening day, with prize money now amounting to £750,000, an increase of £25,000.

The Betfred Ebor is cemented as the richest Flat handicap in Europe by the addition of £25,000 in funding to a pot that is now worth a quarter of a million pounds.

York chief executive and clerk of the course, William Derby, said: “We are delighted to be investing in a record prize fund for our flagship festival.

“Twenty-one of our 25 races that make up the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival have been increased in value which means, when combined with last year’s increases, all races having been increased over the last two years.

“The quality and quantity of horses running at the Ebor Festival continues to increase and we are delighted to make this investment to attract the very best horses and jockeys to York.”