Donald McCain will not even think about who could replace Jason Maguire on Peddlers Cross in the Stan James Champion Hurdle before his stable jockey's appeal against a seven-day riding suspension is heard.
Maguire found himself in hot water with the stewards at Doncaster on Wednesday following his ride on the stable's Cool Mission, runner-up to Beshabar in the three-mile beginners' chase.
His suspension begins on March 9 and concludes on Champion Hurdle day (March 15). Five days of the ban were handed out for marking the horse, with two days for using his whip with excessive frequency, but Maguire has stated his intention to appeal.
When asked about who could potentially replace Maguire on his unbeaten stable star, McCain said: "I'm not even thinking about that yet. I'm just hoping things work out for the best."
McCain had some strong words to say soon after the news of the suspension broke on track and he is hoping his views do not have a detrimental effect on Maguire's case.
"I said what I said at Doncaster and I don't really want to say anything else that would be detrimental to Jason's cause when he goes for his appeal," said McCain.
"I thought he gave the horse a fantastic ride and Jason is a massive part of what we're doing. It's not me and it's not him - we're a team, and he's been a massive part of Peddlers Cross.
"I said a few things and it was in the heat of the moment as I was very upset at the time. I just hope I've not damaged his appeal at all. I was very upset. I thought two jockeys gave two novice chasers the most fantastic rides and for this to happen at the end of it was very disappointing.
"I have my thoughts but I really don't want to say anything else about it. In one sense, it doesn't affect me, as I've still got a horse to run in the Champion Hurdle. But it certainly wouldn't be the same without Jason there."
Peddlers Cross beat reigning Champion Hurdle hero Binocular in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newbury in November and was victorious on his first start since at Kelso last week. The six-year-old, who has never been ridden by anyone other than Maguire under Rules, is a best priced 11-2 for next month's Champion Hurdle.