National Service For Williams
Grand National Trial
Kerry Lee has been one of the stories of this National Hunt season.
In 2016 alone she has managed to land the rescheduled Welsh National with Mountainous, the Betfred Classic Chase with Russe Blanc and last weekend’s Game Spirit Chase with the well-backed Top Gamble. Tomorrow she goes for another big Saturday winner with both Bishops Road and Mountainous contesting the Grand National Trial at Haydock.
Can Kerry win National Trial?
Both Mountainous (7/2) and Bishops Road (8/1) have obvious claims to follow up their most recent victories and with the form of Lee’s horses they warrant plenty of respect but Mountainous is up 9lbs for his Chepstow win and Bishops Road has to defy a 14lbs rise for his Sandown win last month.
Whatever Kerry Lee is doing to freshen up her string of horses is obviously working a treat but at 11 years old, there would have to be questions over whether Mountainous can improve enough to win another competitive race like this. Bishops Road on the other hand got a bigger hike from the handicapper for a 17-length win but despite only eight runners going to post tomorrow, this is a trappy little contest and he too looks opposable.
Lightening Can Strike Twice
Gas Line Boy and Rigadin De Beauchene are the two previous course and distance winners lining up in the eight runner field and it is the latter that is picked to oblige again.
Rigadin De Beauchene won this very race two years ago off a mark of 131 and will contest this years renewal of just 2lbs higher.
Robbie Dunne got a great tune out of Rigadin De Beauchene (6/1) when they won at Haydock over Christmas and despite the fact that he will meet Harry The Viking six-pounds worse off, he was probably more value for his three-length success on that occasion.
It was too early to say how Rigadin De Beauchene was going to fare when he crashed out at Warwick last time but he’s tough out and if he can get his own way out in front tomorrow, he could prove hard to pass.
The biggest danger to the selection could well be David Pipe’s Broadway Buffalo (9/2) who represents a stable in good form and despite a lengthy absence, has got the benefit of coming in here fresh. A repeat of his run behind Cause Of Causes in the four-miler at the Cheltenham Festival or his last run behind Thousand Stars over hurdles will see him come into contention here.
With Katie Walsh riding Broadway Buffalo, Kerry Lee being double handed in the race, Venetia Williams training the selection, Rigadin De Beauchene, Sue Smith sending out the top weight, Cloudy Too, and Rebecca Curtis saddling the bottom horse Minella On Line, there’s every chance one of the leading ladies of the sport will be celebrating a week on from Lizzie Kelly’s big win on Agrapart which I tipped up at 20/1 last week. Let’s hope it is Venetia Willaims with Rigadin De Beauchene.
Rigadin De Beauchene @ 6/1
*Prices correct at time of publication