Purchased from Luca Cumani at last month's sales, Donald McCain wastes no time sending FRANCISCAN over hurdles. Jockey bookings suggest he's preferred to stablemate Trend Is My Friend and he's rated higher on the Flat than Purple 'n Gold. The latter made a winning start over timber at Uttoxeter in July and should be in the mix once again despite carrying a penalty for that success. A multiple winner at Beverley on the Flat, Saint Thomas is another making his debut over hurdles though he's rated much lower than Franciscan on the level.
Purple 'n Gold (IRE) 10-3 (10-10) Held up behind leaders, not fluent 4th, closed next, led before last, driven 3 lengths ahead flat, just held on, won at Uttoxeter 2m nh nov hdl (4) gf in Jul beating Bittersweetheart (10-12) by shd, 7 ran.
Trend Is My Friend (USA) 4-1 (10-10) Held up in 4th, not fluent 5th, ridden after 3 out, outpaced when hit 2 out, stayed on flat, went 2nd towards finish, no chance with winner, 2nd of 4, 5l behind Howwoulduno (11-5) at Perth 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Jul.
Franciscan 7-1 (8-10) Mid-division, effort over 3f out, kept on same pace inside final furlong, 5th of 17, 4 1/2l behind Star Lahib (8-8) at Haydock 1m 4f hcp (4yo+) (2) gf in Jul (flat).
Saint Thomas (IRE) 7-1 (9-0) Chased leading trio, ridden and stayed on same pace final furlong, 4th of 8, 3l behind Classic Punch (9-13) at Beverley 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) gf (flat).