Betfred Grand National Trial
Grade 3 Handicap Chase
Haydock Park 14:40
£75,000 added, 5yo plus,
3m 4f 97y, Class 1   
Saturday 20th February 2016

1 Bishops Road 13/2
2 Broadway Buffalo 4/1F
3 Cloudy Too 11/2
8 ran Distances: 9l, 22l
TIME 8m 33.10s (slow by 73.10s)

A double for Richard Johnson as Bishops Road wins for trainer Kerry Lee

Bishops Road
© Racehorse Photos
Bishops Road

Kerry Lee continued her incredible run of big-race success in her first season as a trainer when Bishops Road gamely triumphed at Haydock.

With Welsh National hero Mountainous, Classic Chase scorer Russe Blanc and Game Spirit winner Top Gamble already having given Lee notable Saturday successes in 2016, she struck with a horse she had picked out herself.

The 32,000 guineas she paid for the eight-year-old at the sales out of Henry de Bromhead's Irish stables looks money well spent.

Successful on his first run for Lee, at Sandown on the first Saturday in January, Bishops Road (13-2) defied a stone rise in the weights and stepped up a mile in distance to take glory on Merseyside.

Travelling sweetly for Richard Johnson throughout, he took some time to warm up on the jumping front, but one by one his rivals dropped away and h e shrugged off Broadway Buffalo to win by nine lengths, with Cloudy Too back in third.

The Crabbie's Grand National is likely to be Bishop Road's next race, for which he was cut to 33-1 from 66s with Ladbrokes.

Lee said: "It's a dream to have a runner in the Grand National and that's where he's going. I don't think the heavy ground suited him, but he'll go to Aintree whatever we get.

"It's been amazing and started when Grey Gold won on Hennessy day and it's been relentless. We've got a lot of nice horses."

Lee is already eyeing another big-race coup next Saturday.

"I'm very much looking forward to a trip to Newcastle with Russe Blanc in the Eider," she said.

The Presteigne trainer completed a double when Kylemore Lough (4-5 favourite) survived a blunder at the second-last to take the Betfred 'Double Delight' Novices' Limited Handicap Chase under Jamie Moore.

"We've waited to come here. He hadn't been quite right and I'd had to be patient," said Lee.

"He just loves jumping and on that deep ground. He's had another hard race so I'd say we'll probably sidestep Cheltenham and Aintree and look to either Punchestown or Fairyhouse."

Betfred Grand National Trial
£75,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 4f 97y, Class 1
8 ran
Going: Heavy

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Bishops Road (IRE) 13/2 R Johnson
11-7
Kerry Lee 8
2nd 9 Broadway Buffalo (IRE) 4/1f Ms K Walsh
11-4
D Pipe 8
3rd 22 Cloudy Too (IRE) 11/2 Danny Cook
11-12
Mrs S J Smith 10
PU Mountainous (IRE) 5/1 J E Moore
11-5
Kerry Lee 11
PU Gas Line Boy (IRE) 6/1 L P Aspell
11-3
Jim Best 10
PU Rigadin De Beauchene (FR) 5/1 R T Dunne
10-10
Miss V Williams 11
PU Harry The Viking 7/1 D R Fox
10-5
A M Thomson 11
PU Minella On Line (IRE) 22/1 B Hughes
10-2
Miss R Curtis 7