Raz De Maree lands second Cork National

Raz De Maree: won this race four years ago for the late Dessie Hughes

PICTURE: Alain Barr Raz De Maree lands second Cork National By Tom Collins 3:28PM 6 NOV 2016

Report: Cork, Sunday

Paddy Power Cork Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade B) 3m4f, 4yo+

GAVIN CROMWELL'S Raz De Maree grittily fended off Forever Gold to record his second victory in the Cork Grand National, four years after winning the race for the late Dessie Hughes off a 1lb higher mark.

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The 11-year-old, who didn't enter the winner's enclosure between successes in this race, was given a perfectly-timed ride by Ger Fox.

Fox, who landed both the Irish Grand National and Kerry National on Rogue Angel last season, said: "It was badly needed for both me and the horse. The race wasn't run at a majorly quick pace which suited him. We were worried about the ground being too quick for him as he wants soft ground.

"He ran a great race at Gowran Park last month behind As De Pique. I was hopeful I could turn the tables on him and he did. He jumped from fence to fence and travelled really sweet for me but he did make a very bad mistake at the fifth last and I don't know how he stood up."

Raz De Maree hit the front two fences from home and had to battle to deny the strong-travelling nine-year-old Forever Gold, with the front two pulling six lengths clear of Undressed in third.

Fox continued: "Things have been going a bit slow at the moment and rides have been hard to come by. I am based with Noel Meade and I ride out for Gavin Cromwell who is a big help to me. It's great to ride a big winner for Gavin on a big day like today as he's been good to me and is keeping me going."

New Kid In Town, the mount of Brian Hayes as Ruby Walsh was stood down for the day after feeling jarred from his ride on Westerner Lady, tried to make all but was passed entering the straight and faded to finish sixth.

Despite having five of the 16 runners, Gigginstown failed to get in the placings with Rogue Angel, their only finisher, trailing in last of 12 to complete.

Tags: Raz De Maree | Forever Gold | Gavin Cromwell | D T Hughes | G N Fox

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