Easter Monday is Irish National day, while Tony McCoy’s continues his record-chase at Newton Abbot on Saturday
Commanche Court is the star attraction over the Easter weekend when he carries topweight of 12st in the Powers Gold Label Irish National at Fairyhouse on Monday.
The Ted Walsh-trained gelding, who won the Irish National two years ago, ran the race of his life to finish second to Best Mate in the Cheltenham Gold Cup a fortnight ago and is reported fresh and ready to put his best foot forward again.
He has been installed 5-1 favourite by Irish bookmakers Paddy Power and if he can defy topweight he will become the first horse since Brown Lad in 1978 to win the Irish National for a second time.
Rathbawn Prince, who finished second to Davids Lad in the race 12 months ago, is second favourite at 8-1 and would appear to be the obvious danger to Commanche Court.
McCoy in winning form
Tony McCoy continues his chase for the record number winners in a season at Newton Abbot on Saturday when his mounts include Sullys Hope (2.15), Polar Champ (2.50) and Possible Pardon (3.50). McCoy starts the day on 265, four short of the record set by Sir Gordon Richards on the flat in 1947.
Talking of the flat, the new turf season continues at Kempton where the bluesq.com Queens Prize is the feature. The finish of this two-miler may be fought out by the lightweights Positive Profile and Chicago Bulls.
Preference is for Positive Profile, who has been sent south from Middleham by Patrick Haslam and will be ridden by Joanna Badger.
The recent Doncaster winner Falcon Hill may be another success for Middleham. MarkJohnston has despatched him from North Yorkshire for the Easter Stakes.
John Dunlop’s filly Kootenay, the mount of Pat Eddery, should prove too good for her Masaka Stakes rivals. Eddery should complete a double on Kaieteur for Brian Meehan in the Blue Square Conditions Stakes.