Alex Hammond: Cossack dance
Alex Hammond looks ahead to the inaugural All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield, as well as the weekend's action.
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There is some good racing in Ireland over Easter weekend and on Easter Sunday the Powers Gold Cup takes centre stage.
This Grade 1 is run over 2 miles 4 furlongs at Fairyhouse and there are some top-notch horses entered. One of which is Ballycasey, who finished fourth in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham festival. The drop back from three miles looks like it will suit as he travelled a bit too well at Cheltenham so I would expect to see him finish off his race better if he runs.
Don Cossack had the option of the Irish National on Monday, but Gordon Elliott has chosen to run him here instead. It was good to see him put in a clear round when finishing second to Holywell at Aintree after his fall in the RSA at Cheltenham. He's a funny horse who never really fulfilled his potential last term, but we have seen much more of what we hoped for this time round and I hope he can add to his win over this course and distance in the Drinmore back in December in this.
Then on Easter Monday it's the big one, the Irish Grand National. I really fancied Cause Of Causes for the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival and was disappointed when he blundered away his chance at the last fence and finished in the runner up spot.
He has been raised 6lbs for that. He should have a bit more time to think about things here and I hope he can gain compensation.
Cheltenham's Foxhunter winner Tammys Hill is another one to consider after his decisive win last month. He is interesting off his mark of 135. The day I oppose Shutthefrontdoor will be the day he pops up. He has plenty in his favour, including the form of trainer Jonjo O'Neill, but he's let me down once too often this season.
Home Farm was third in this last year and is 5lb higher this time round. He's still only a seven-year-old and drying ground will suit this son of Presenting. I'm chasing my losses here with Cause of Causes, with Tammys Hills my main danger.
Easter Sunday Selections:
Easter Monday Selections: