The trainer firmly believes his Cinders And Ashes has a "massive each-way chance" in the hurdles title race at the Cheltenham Festival.
McCain said: "He seems in great nick, our gallop is drying up and he's happier. He's really coming to.
"I've said it before, but he is very much a decent-ground horse.
"The easiest thing for me to do was to not run him anywhere this season, but that wouldn't have done him any good and the worst thing that could have happened was that he was going to get beaten.
"He has been beaten, a couple of times, but I don't think you can judge him until he gets his ground. I would never say we're going to win a Champion Hurdle, but I think he'll be right there and will run a big race."