Fortune favours Maree in Cork National

Dessie Hughes’ Raz De Maree followed his recent success in the Munster National at Limerick by adding the Paddy Power Cork Grand National at Cork yesterday.

Whether he was lucky or not, however, we will never know. Outlaw Pete went to the front going to the second last and still held a marginal advantage heading to the final fence.

But just before the obstacle, he swerved away to his right, giving Alan Crowe no chance of keeping the horse on the track.

Raz De Maree, who came from off the pace, was then left with a simple task, beating Bundle Of Fun, who made a dreadful blunder two out, by nine lengths.

“He was well ridden (by Bryan Cooper)”, said Hughes. “I don’t know if he would have won, he was probably struggling to pass the other horse.

“I might let him take his chance in the Becher Chase (Aintree), as long as he doesn’t have to carry too much weight.”

Mouse Morris’ Baily Green completed a spectacular seven-timer with yet another easy win in the Paddy Power Text 51465 EBF Novice Chase.

He hardly left second gear for Davis Casey and essentially toyed with his two rivals, Sea Of Thunder being an absentee because of the ground.

Tofino Bay went off favourite, but hardly went a yard for Davy Russell. He drove him for all he was worth in the straight, but they never looked like closing down the winner.

Said Morris: “He was out in the field for a week and his hind shoes were off, but was knocking down the door to be doing something, so I brought him back in.

“He will tell me when he’s had enough and could go next for a Grade 2 at Punchestown.”

Andrew Lynch gave the Charles Byrnes-trained Our Vinnie an inspired to drive to land the Paddy Power Phone 1800 721821 EBF Novice Hurdle.

Our Vinnie attempted to make all of the running, but had defeat staring him in the face up the straight, as Rule The World challenged strongly.

But the winner kept finding for pressure and battled back to beat Rule The World by a head, with the staying-on Busty Brown a further head away in third.

Commented Byrnes: “He stuck at it, all he does is stay. It wasn’t the plan to make it, but Andrew had no choice. He wants better ground and will stick to races at three miles, or two six. Hopefully, he will good enough to go for the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham,” Stan James gave Our Vinnie a quote of 20-1 for that race.

Pat Flynn’s Brog Deas was long odds-on to take the Paddy Power Mobile Betting three-year-old Hurdle and won snugly enough in the end.

Andrew McNamara produced him to take on the front-running Danequest from three out and the winner was always on top from the back of the final flight.

“He’d like better ground, but did it well”, said Flynn. “If he got a bit of nice ground we could aim him for Leopardstown at Christmas.”

The rather frustrating Blossom Gate put it together to overturn The Crafty Butcher in the Paddy Power Mobile Betting INH Stallion Owners’ EBF Maiden Hurdle.

Partnered by Andrew Latta, the mare quickened ahead between the last two flights to easily beat the hot pot.

“She likes that ground”, reported Kiely. “Conditions were near perfect and the ground here is the best managed in the country.”

The well-backed Que Pasa, ridden by Pa King and trained by Harry Kelly at Fethard, Co Tipperary, powered ahead at the furlong pole to take the Bumper.

Kelly (this was her first outing for him) was enjoying a seventh success, having taken out a licence in May of this year. Commented Kelly: “We fancied her big time and would have been very disappointed had she got beaten.”

The modest Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle was won in good style by Masked Phantom, who came down the centre of the track in the straight to hit the front for Niall Madden between the last two flights.

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