In-form Lee has no ground concerns for Crabbie’s Grand National contender Bishops Road

In-form Lee has no ground concerns for Crabbie’s Grand National contender Bishops Road

Thursday, March 31, 2016 – Trainer Kerry Lee is hoping to crown a memorable first season with victory in the £1-million Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 9.

The Herefordshire handler has enjoyed a string of big-race successes since taking over the licence from her father Richard at the start of the season, including a first Grade One triumph with Kylemore Lough in the Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Chase at Fairyhouse on March 27.

Bishops Road has been another success story for the stable, with a 100 per cent record since being bought out of Henry De Bromhead’s yard in September for £32,000 at Goffs.

The eight-year-old has registered two impressive victories in heavy ground, scoring by 17 lengths over two and a half miles in a handicap chase at Sandown Park on January 2 before relishing the step up to three and a half miles to win the Grade Three Betfred Grand National Trial Handicap Chase by nine lengths at Haydock Park on February 20.

Owner Alan Halsall, a director at Aintree, has had two runners in the Crabbie’s Grand National. Longshanks faired best of the pair when finishing seventh in 2007. Bishops Road has 10st 3lb in the Crabbie’s Grand National.

Lee said today: “It is all systems go towards Aintree with Bishops Road.

“I have been very happy with him since Haydock Park. He has schooled over Grand National-style fences and everything is going to plan.

“I am not at all worried about ground conditions. Aintree always produces beautiful ground and I am very happy to be going there. We just need nine horses to come out.

“Jamie Moore is working his socks off to get back in time for Aintree and I am quite confident that he will be.”

Bishops Road is a 25/1 shot with Betfred, official betting partner of the Crabbie’s Grand National.

Three women trainers have landed the Crabbie’s Grand National, the most recent being Sue Smith in 2013 with Auroras Encore.

Venetia Williams sent out 100/1 outsider Mon Mome to triumph in 2009, while Jenny Pitman succeeded with both Corbiere (1983) and Royal Athlete (1995).

The world’s greatest chase, which takes place over 30 fences and four miles, two furlongs and 74 yards, has new off time of 5.15pm. A maximum of 40 runners can take part.

The next confirmation stage is at noon on Monday, April 4.

Grand Women’s Summit
The Grand Women’s Summit takes place for a second year on Ladies Day of the Crabbie’s Grand National, Friday, April 8 and again celebrates the diverse roles women play in sport.

Confirmed panellists are: one of the most influential figures in tennis – Judy Murray; Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi MBE; Nick Rust – Chief Executive of the BHA and Shelley Alexander – BBC editorial lead for women’s sport. The panel will be hosted by Channel 4 Racing’s Tanya Stevenson and Gina Harding.

Delegates will also enjoy a Grand National course walk with Ladies Day ambassador Katie Walsh, Grand National-winning trainer Oliver Sherwood and his wife Tarnya, both of whom have also ridden in the Grand National, and Carrie Ford.

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