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Irish hopes wane

The Irish challenge for tomorrow's Coral Welsh National has been severely depleted with Becauseicouldntsee being ruled out and compatriot Lochan Lacha "doubtful".

Becauseicouldntsee was an excellent second in last month's Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown and was as short as 14-1 for the Chepstow marathon.

But his trainer Noel Glynn is keen to save his charge for a tilt at the Grand National at Aintree in April.

"We've pulled the plug on Chepstow and we're going to run him in a few hurdle races before going to Aintree," said Glynn.

"I was tempted to have a go as he came out of his last race like he hadn't had a run, but if he had a hard race at Chepstow that might finish him for the year.

"We want to have a go at Aintree."

Tony Martin's Lochan Lacha is unlikely to make the trip as he is not guaranteed a place in the final field.

"It's doubtful he'll run," the trainer said. "He needs seven to come out in front of him in the ballot and there's no point shipping him over if he's not going to get in."