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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Bishops Road ruled out of repeat bid in Grand National Trial

Vieux Lion Rouge: two out of two this season
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Last year's winner of the Betfred Grand National Trial, Bishops Road, who was general 7-1 favourite for Saturday's race at Haydock, will miss the race after failing to please at home.

Tom Lee, assistant to his sister Kerry, said: "Given it's a race with ante-post betting we wanted people to know Bishops Road won't be running due to an unsatisfactory piece of work.

"His season had been geared around Haydock, with a view to going on to Aintree, so it's a shame he can't run this weekend, but hopefully he'll be sparkling again soon."

Bishops Road, who missed the cut at Aintree last April, is among 13 Randox Health Grand National entries in a race which last went to a Grand National winner when Party Politics scored in 1993 – the year after his Aintree win.

Saturday's cards

The Lee stable has another leading fancy in Goodtoknow, who won at Hereford last week.

Kruzhlinin, who has disappointed twice in the Aintree marathon and is not entered this year, and Becher Chase winner Vieux Lion Rouge, seventh in last year's National when still a novice, are also prominent in the market.

Vieux Lion Rouge is a general 25-1 chance for the National, but trainer David Pipe confirmed yesterday that while he "will have a run somewhere before the National" no decision had been made yet about Saturday's race.

Yanworth: "He was very sharp on Monday morning," says Alan King
Leading Stan James Champion Hurdle fancy Yanworth is unlikely to have his talented stable companion Sceau Royal to contend with when he completes his racecourse preparation for Cheltenham in the Betway Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton on Saturday.

Writing in his exclusive Weekender column, Alan King revealed that Sceau Royal, who is 9-4 second favourite, is likely to miss the race and also Kelso's Morebattle Hurdle, instead going straight to Cheltenham now.

King wrote: "The Kingwell had been the plan for Sceau Royal, who's been off since the Fighting Fifth, but conditions would have to dry up for him. He's in great form and I don't want to give him a really hard race in testing ground.

"We put him in the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso and that was a possibility but the ground is too slow there. He could go straight to Cheltenham and I actually think that would be an advantage. He's shown all his best form when he's been fresh."

The going at Wincanton is currently soft, heavy in places but that would not be a worry for Yanworth, who is Paddy Power's evens favourite and has impressed at home since a muscle tweak forced him to miss Sandown's Contenders' Hurdle, the race that propelled his owner JP McManus's Buveur D'Air to Champion Hurdle favouritism.

King wrote: "Yanworth will run as long as we're happy with him. Wincanton wouldn't necessarily be his ideal venue and it's not as stiff a track as Sandown but the ground will be slow and he coped all right with Kempton when winning the Christmas Hurdle. We've done plenty of schooling with him and he was very sharp on Monday morning."

His season had been geared around Haydock, with a view to going on to Aintree, so it's a shame he can't run

Key data

Bishops Road
E.W. Terms
Sky bet