No excuses ahead of the Grand National for The Cossack

Racing Online - Horse Racing News - New Zealand Horse Racing News - No excuses ahead of the Grand National for The Cossack

Star New Zealand jumper The Cossack has made all the right moves ahead of his return to the big fences in the (4500m) at .

The Mastercraftsman 10-year-old was in imperious form at home before heading across the Tasman and will attempt to return to winning ways in Sunday's feature for trainers and Corinna McDougal.

The Cossack made his Australian debut in the Australian Grand National Hurdles (4200m) off the back of a hat-trick of domestic jumping victories, but was unable to justify his favouritism and petered out to finish fifth.

“Nothing came to light after that and we were really mystified,” Nelson said.

The Hastings horseman was loathe to make any excuses for his charge, but an arduous trip to the Victorian operation of expatriate Kiwi trainer and former top international jumps Craig Thornton didn't help The Cossack's cause.

“He did have a very long trip over as there was a hitch with his transport when he got to Melbourne,” Nelson said.

“He was on the truck there at 8.30am and eventually got to Craig's place at 10.30pm so it wasn't ideal and not what we wanted.”

Nelson was forgiving of The Cossack's out of performance in the Grand National Hurdles, in which he was partnered by Shaun Phelan who takes the reins again on Sunday, given his previous form.

The gelding had compiled nine domestic wins and five minor placings over the smaller fences, including successes in the Grand National Hurdles (4200m), two editions of the Great Northern Hurdles (4200m), the (3100m) and the KS Browne Hurdles (3100m).

In between the latter two victories, The Cossack was also an effortless winner at of his only steeplechase start.

Since his failure in his Australian debut, the gelding trialled well over the big fences at Coleraine with Aaron Kuru in the saddle. He rode The Cossack to multiple wins at home before relocating to Victoria.

“I'm very happy with the horse and he looks super. The good thing was that Aaron rode him and he knows him well and his report was that there's nothing wrong with the horse,” Nelson said.

“I hope he's in the right space, but until you see them all line up together you don't really know.

is a pretty useful horse and St Arnica ran a very good race when second in the Grand National Hurdles the other day. They are going to take some beating.”

Nelson is also calling on his Australian experience with a former charge in The Cossack's switch from hurdling to the big fences.

“The only time I've been here before is when we went straight from winning the Great Northern Hurdles (4190m) to the (4000m) with Chibuli and it worked when he won that as well,” Nelson said.

“I think this is where we need to be with The Cossack.”

More New Zealand horse racing news

Leave A Comment