Monbeg could be the Dude for the Grand National

When Monbeg Dude lines up on Saturday afternoon, his name will be met by a loud roar from the Aintree crowd, who have already meant that his price has fallen dramatically over the last few weeks.

However it won’t only be from a punting perspective that the gelding is being cheered for, there are far more intertwining stories that really suggest that although he is not the bookmaker’s favourite, e is certainly the people’s favourite.

monbeg_Dude

He is part-owned by Mike Tindall, ex-England rugby star, and of course husband to the royal Zara Phillips. When Tindall initially purchased the horse, Phillips was rather bemused that her husband had parted ways with £12,000 on a horse that looked particularly average.

However he has grown from humble beginnings and become a jewel in the crown of Tindall’s eye, with an array of solid performances at the top level which have led many to believe he has a brilliant chance of landing the Grand National.

This regal link will not be overlooked by many who understand just how much pain the race has caused the Royal Family in the past, when Devon Loch famously managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory back in 1956, when falling on the run-in to the line, after having the race already sewn up.

Phillips will be hoping for a different story tomorrow, and she has been instrumental in ensuring that Monbeg Dude arrives at Aintree in the best possible shape. He had jumping issues at the beginning of last season, and this is what ultimately stopped him from competing in the race twelve months ago. However, with Phillips’ tutorage, the gelding has been nursed over his fences and his jumping has massively improved according to the feedback from his most recent schooling session.

19 P-3415 Monbeg Dude 12/1 9 10-9 Michael Scudamore P Carberry 146

Last year’s Welsh National winner Monbeg Dude lines up, well-fancied to go close in his first attempt at Aintree. Paul Carberry delivered a magnificent ride when the nine-year-old got the better of ante-post favourite Teaforthree at Chepstow, and will be hoping to maintain form-lines with his rival this time around. Michael Scuadamore has been happy with his preparation, and says his fifth in the Grimthorpe Chase last time out, has put him in good order for a crack at the Aintree feature. He is a solid jumper, who loves big fields and stamina tests, means he ticks a lot of boxes for many punters. He wouldn’t mind a bit more cut in the ground, which looks possible, when he arrives in Merseyside, and he would certainly be a popular winner for part-owner Mike Tindall and his wife Zara Phillips. Rating 8/10

 

He has been for sessions at the Princess Royal’s Gatcombe Park estate, to continue the process of sorting out his former issues and this has been working wonders according to trainer Michael Scudamore.

“”The Dude certainly likes his visits to Gatcombe by royal appointment – it’s a lovely place and it’s something different for him.

“The aim has been to improve The Dude’s footwork because he was being a little bit lazy at his obstacles and making mistakes.

“He’s much sharper now and I think Zara takes great pride in how his jumping has improved. To have someone that talented in the team is utterly invaluable.”

Michael Scudamore rates Zara’s help very highly, but it not just her story that will help Monbeg Dude go down in folklore should they manage to land the big race. Michael himself comes from a family that is steeped in Grand National heritage. His father, Peter, was Champion Jockey eight times, and his grandfather, Michael Senior, landed the National on-board Oxo back in 1959.

This is as good a chance as Scudamore has had to etch his own name into the history books and join past family members and land the big race himself on Saturday.

Riding the horse will be Paul Carberry, should he be able recover from a fall on Friday afternoon, and this is yet another magnificent tale to continue the public’s adoration of The Dude’s National bid. This is because Carberry already knows what it takes to win a big one, after winning the race on-board Bobbyjo in 1999 for his father Tommy, who had previously ridden the winner himself, back in 1975, when guiding L’Escargot to victory, who is still the last horse to land both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National.

Long Run will be aiming to break that tomorrow, but Monbeg Dude does have a really good chance should he manage to deliver the level of form he is known to possess. He has already beaten ante-post favourite Teaforthree in the 2013 Welsh National, and this piece of form alone gives him a solid chance of delivering a popular winner. He thrives in big fields, and embraces marathon stamina tests, so come 4:30 on Saturday afternoon; the Dude may be causing some of the most rapturous celebrations across Merseyside, for some time.

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