Grand National five to follow: Monbeg Dude the royal winner

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The Grand National is no stranger to a big gamble.

In 2011, Seabass was heavily backed into a short 11/2 favourite on the premise that Katie Walsh could be the first female jockey to win the race.

Party Politics was also a popular winner in 1992, with his Aintree victory coming just five days before the UK general election, while Red Rum sent the crowd into hysteria just for being Red Rum in the 1970s.

If there is to be such a horse to be the focus of a late splurge in 2014, then Monbeg Dude seems the prime candidate, given his royal connections.

Owned by former England rugby captain Mike Tindall, the husband of Princess Anne’s only daughter Zara Phillips, Monbeg Dude has already been backed into 10/1 in the Grand National odds.

And further support is expected in the final stages before the world’s most famous steeplechase, with Ladbrokes’ David Williams one of those fearing the horse will be “backed off the boards”.

However, punters shouldn’t be expecting a king’s ransom just because the London Olympics equestrian silver medallist has been putting the horse through its paces at home.

If Monbeg Dude does have a weakness it is that he can be a clumsy jumper that makes the odd severe mistake, but Zara has been working on his footwork in some schooling sessions to brush up his jumping.

Stamina should be no issue for Monbeg Dude, given that he is a former Welsh National winner. Four of the last 10 Grand National winners had run in the Welsh equivalent, with three of these among the first three home at Chepstow.

Paul Carberry partnered the horse to Welsh National glory and has been confirmed as his jockey again at Aintree, with Carberry considered the best in the business at patiently riding hold-up horses to the front.

There are some memorable examples in Carberry’s back catalogue and this is the sort of ride that will best suit Monbeg Dude in the Grand National, although with 40 runners there is the obvious risk that he will be brought down.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.