Raz doubt Hughes star 'unlikely' to travel


Christmas logistics appear likely to rule out Raz De Maree’s chances of a Grand National hat-trick at Chepstow next week.

Dessie Hughes’s tough stayer is a general 16 to 1 shot for Thursday week’s Welsh National, a marathon slog that looks right up Raz De Maree’s street. Winner of the lucrative Munster National at Limerick in October, and also successful in the Cork National in November, Hughes had been eyeing a third National in three months.

However, uncertainty about the participation of several entries above Raz De Maree in the handicap, along with travel issues, could see the gelding switched to the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown instead. “The Nicholls horse (Tidal Bay) doesn’t look like running and the transport is very awkward so it is unlikely he’ll be going,” Hughes said yesterday.

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