Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 21 April 2018

WATCH: Joy for Irish trainer Gavin Cromwell as Raz De Maree lands the Welsh Grand National

Raz De Maree ridden by James Bowen on their way to victory in the Coral Welsh Grand National Handicap Chase during Coral Welsh Grand National Day at Chepstow
Raz De Maree ridden by James Bowen on their way to victory in the Coral Welsh Grand National Handicap Chase during Coral Welsh Grand National Day at Chepstow
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Raz De Maree, runner up in 2016, went one place better under teenage jockey James Bowen as he claimed the Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow.

The 13-year-old, trained in Ireland by Gavin Cromwell, is only three years younger than his talented jockey and the pair teamed up to great effect.

Kerry Lee's Alfie Spinner, another 13-year-old, was up there throughout and only gave best inside the final two furlongs, going down by six lengths.

The gambled-on Vintage Clouds was prominent for the first circuit and a half before dropping out only to run on again, while Wild West Wind appeared to be relishing conditions before taking a crashing fall down the back straight on the second circuit.

Final Nudge travelled well before dropping back to third with Vintage Clouds, the 7-1 favourite, fourth as Raz De Maree became the oldest winner of the race in modern times.

Cromwell told At The Races: "He gave him a peach of a ride.

"He was flat to the boards down the back, but he didn't panic and he stayed on. This is fantastic, just brilliant."

Cromwell added: "He's the oldest horse since the war apparently and only the second Irish winner, it's fantastic.

"He's such a pleasure to have, it's fantastic. He's only a small horse but has such heart."

Bowen said: "He's only a few years younger than me! We didn't travel anywhere at all and I thought we'd do well to get round and pick up a place.

"Once he passed a few horses he then picked up the bit and we ended up getting there too soon.

"It's amazing to win. You grow up watching these races at home and to win it in my first (full) season riding is amazing."

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