From the Dessie Hughes yard in Ireland comes Raz De Maree, his only entry for the 2014 Crabbies Grand National.
Originally placed much further down the entries list after the weights were handed out, at number 64, a significant number of withdrawals meant that Raz De Maree was eventually guaranteed a spot in the final 40 and carried 10-03 on the day.
Winner of the Paddy Power Cork Grand National and 8th in the 2014 Aintree Grand National
That 10-03 was the second lowest weight he’s ever run off, the lowest being 9-9 all the way back in March 2011, and although his immediate form wasn’t spectacular, he has the capability of winning some decent races.
Back in November 2012 he won the Paddy Power Cork Grand National but was then out of action for a full year before returning in November 2013 at Navan where he was pulled-up.
A couple of months break and he was back again in February 2014 at Punchestown but could only manage 12th from 18 runners before pulling up again at Naas in March 2014.
Hughes was not to be deterred and promptly raced him again less than three weeks later where he finished a better 3rd from five runners at Down Royal.
There’s no disputing his talent when on form but the issues that he faces are his poor runs and the long absence that didn’t help. He primarily starts at three miles so although he can win beyond that, he doesn’t start them very often so the Aintree course was a big step-up.
Result: This was Raz De Maree’s first trip outside of Ireland and he successfully navigated the course under the guidance of jockey Davy Condon into 8th place.