Donald McCain's family will forever be synonymous with the Grand National, but the Cheshire-based trainer admits the Cheltenham Festival is now top of his priority list.
His late father Ginger will always be associated with Aintree and in particular the exploits of the legendary Red Rum, but the burgeoning McCain empire has attracted higher profile owners of late - and a better team of racehorses.
"From Christmas onwards you are starting to think about getting horses ready for Cheltenham. We were lucky to have a winner with our first runner there (Cloudy Lane, 2007 Kim Muir), which was great, but things have been a bit tougher since," said McCain.
"We've had six winners there altogether now, which is great, and I think it's got to the stage where we need to have winners at Cheltenham. Aintree is a special place for us, but we almost look at having winners there as a bonus. If you have a winner there we really enjoy it."
McCain has a strong team assembled, headed by Arkle-bound Overturn, World Hurdle contender Peddlers Cross and Champion Hurdle challenger Cinders And Ashes, and he nominates Our Mick as his best chance of winning one of the handicaps.
He said: "He was third in the JLT last year as a novice and made a couple of bad mistakes, but ran a screamer. He's only a little bit higher in the weights and was running a nice race at Cheltenham the other week when Jason (Maguire) decided to jump off him! He's in great nick and I'll be expecting a big run."
Super Duty was only narrowly denied by the David Pipe-trained Goulanes in the Towton Novices' Chase at Wetherby last time and although he has handicap engagements at Cheltenham, McCain is leaning towards a tilt at the RSA Chase.
He went on: "I've been very tempted just to concentrate on the Kim Muir, but I'm starting to think strongly about running him in the RSA. He's never had his ground this year and was giving 7lb to David's horse the other day. He would have to carry nearly top weight in the Kim Muir. He's as tough as nails."
Son Of Flicka won part-owner Phil Williams the best part of a million pounds when landing last year's Coral Cup and McCain said: "He's a grand little horse and I think he's a pound or two higher than what he won off last year. He'll probably run in the Coral Cup, but we'll keep our options open for now."
Other possible runners are Diamond King (Champion Bumper), Any Given Day, Bourne and Hollow Tree (handicap hurdles), Counsel (Fred Winter), Desert Cry (Jewson), Cloudy Lane (Foxhunter) and She Ranks Me (OLBG Mares' Hurdle or Neptune).
27 March 2017Gevrey Chambertin one of four stars to bow out for David Pipe
Brian Ellison's Tonto and Walker primed for Lincoln challenge at Doncaster
Jonjo O'Neill's Box Office puts up winning display at Market Rasen
Ex-jockey Allan Mackay in hospital after fall on Newmarket gallops
Davy Russell booked by Tom George for Saint Are Grand National mount
Warren Greatrex maps out Aintree aims for Keeper Hill and La Bague Au Roi
Richard Johnson pays tribute to 'fantastic' Reve De Sivola
Arctic Fire pencilled in for Champion date at Punchestown
Morando among Lincoln acceptors for Roger Varian
Roger Varian looking to Coronation Cup for Postponed redemption
Arrogate takes a break as Breeders' Cup repeat remains ultimate goal
Toscanini joins Richard Fahey to act as Ribchester's pacemaker
End of an era as Ballymacoll dispersal sales announced by Tattersalls
Flying start for Aidan O'Brien as new Irish Flat season kicks off at Naas
Aidan O'Brien targets Dundalk comeback for unbeaten Classic hope Caravaggio
Sam Twiston-Davies and Paul Nicholls dominate at Wincanton
Anseanachai Cliste prevails in Ulster National thriller at Downpatrick
In-form Noel Fehily eager to take National chance on Blaklion
Park Express delight for Mick Channon and Graham Lee with Czabo
Mark Walsh to have Cheltenham injury progress assessed
Meade readies Aclaim for Lockinge bid
Martyn Meade has Craven Stakes in mind for Classic contender Eminent
26 March 2017Brendan Brackan back in style for Irish Lincolnshire victory
Moonlight Bay shows smart turn of foot to take Irish Flat season opener
Seeyouatmidnight called up for National service by 'delighted' Sandy Thomson
Saint-Cloud scorer Plumatic one to watch
Super Solow on the comeback trail for Freddy Head
'I can't believe he won' - Bob Baffert in awe of World Cup hero Arrogate
Snow Leopardess pounces at Newbury
Jack Hobbs oozes class in Sheema stroll
Death of three-time Long Walk hero Reve De Sivola at Kelso
Moreira advertises skills in saddle as Vivlos claims Turf
Biscuits swoops for sweet success in Golden Shaheen
Right result for French ace in Al Quoz as Limato struggles
Snow digs deep for UAE Derby glory
Vazirabad does it again in Dubai Gold Cup
25 March 2017Great Field looks set for great things after Thurles demolition
Brilliant Arrogate rules the World in Dubai
Late Summer charge is enough to land Godolphin Mile spoils
Fozzy Stack hoping for Dream start to training career in Irish Lincolnshire
Somehow bids for Express success on seasonal bow at Naas
Bullish Tom Symonds fancies Don Bersy to maintain hot streak at Newbury
Nicky Henderson has Punchestown in mind for Brain Power
Amateur rider James Ridley banned for 28 days in Newbury drama
Daryl Jacob hoping Gordon Elliott can work Natonal magic with Ucello Conti
Oliver Sherwood has Hitherjacques Lady ready to roll for Newbury test
Hugo Palmer targets Mile high with Gifted Master
Jim Crowley bowled over by Al Quoz Sprint hope Ertijaal
Heartbreak City chasing Dubai Gold for Tony Martin
Roger Charlton has Decorated Knight ready for Meydan Turf war
Roger Varian optimistic as Postponed challenges for Sheema Classic double
24 March 2017Double delight for Nicky Henderson at Newbury
Dermot McLoughlin forced to rule Vics Canvas out of Grand National
Bob Baffert wants to rule the World with awesome Arrogate
Charlie Appleby maps out Classic gameplan with exciting filly Wuheida
Coneygree going great guns for Sizing John showdown at Punchestown
Sam Twiston-Davies sides with Saphir Du Rheu in Grand National at Aintree
Jean-Claude Rouget stars Almanzor and La Cressonniere set for big 2017
Cheltenham ace Yorkhill heads Ryanair entries at Fairyhouse
Supreme ruler Labaik in great heart with Fairyhouse and Punchestown on the radar
'Slow process' as Toast Of New York continues to be assessed for racing return
Hopes high Derek Fox will return from injury to ride One For Arthur in National
Mags Mullins in no hurry to map out Debuchet plans
Enda Bolger hoping Aintree fences will fire up On The Fringe