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Stuart Crawford wary of transport issues for Haydock hope Fine Rightly

Thu 18 Jan 2018

Stuart Crawford is keeping his fingers crossed Fine Rightly arrives in good time for the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock on Saturday.

The Larne handler is planning to make the trip across the Irish Sea on Friday with his 10-year-old, but with Northern Ireland currently affected by the cold snap, Crawford admits travel arrangements have been made a bit more difficult.

He said: "It's going to be a bit touch and go with the weather. Hopefully we can get away early in the morning. The forecast is for a bit more snow overnight and tomorrow. He's had a couple of good runs so far this year and hopefully he can get a bit of luck and we get there in good time."

Fine Rightly, who placed at Grade One level in 2016, is one of 13 declarations for the extended three-mile-one-furlong heat.

Philip Hobbs' Rock The Kasbah, who sidestepped a Welsh National run, is among the leading contenders along with the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Tintern Theatre.

Tommy Whittle Chase hero Captain Redbeard will be aiming for a big Haydock double for trainer Stuart Coltherd, while James Moffatt's Highland Lodge and Forest Des Aigles, who is seeking a four-timer for Lucinda Russell, are other leading candidates.

Officials at Haydock are upbeat about the chances of Saturday's meeting going ahead.

The Merseyside venue is due to stage four Grade Two heats, including the Peter Marsh Chase and the Unibet Champion Hurdle Trial, but the track has seen plenty of rain this week with the going now described as heavy.

While clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright is anticipating further rain before racing, he believes the track will be fit for action.

He said: "We had half an inch of rain overnight and there is more rain forecast today and tomorrow, with a drier outlook on Saturday.

"The temperatures are now forecast to stay above zero and the winds are dropping.

"We are optimistic of racing going ahead. There are no plans for an inspection at the moment."

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