Trainers with one eye on the Grand National will already be formulating their plans for Aintree at this relatively early stage of the season and this is the reason for Monbeg Dude’s omission from the Welsh National entry list.
Monbeg Dude was successfully given one of the more extreme hold-up rides to go from last to first to land the Welsh National last year and there were strong feelings that he could follow in the 1980’s footsteps of Bonanza Boy and defend his title.
However, he is not among the 88 entries for Chepstow, with trainer Michael Scudamore stating that the owners have eyes on Aintree.
Monbeg Dude was immediately hiked 10lb in the weights for his Welsh National success, but this didn’t stop him performing credibly on his only chase run this season so far, when arguably hitting the front too soon and getting outpaced in the latter stages over 3m3f.
It should be remembered that Teaforthree finished second to Monbeg Dude in the last Welsh National and then went on to finish third in the Aintree equivalent, off a 7lb higher mark.
Therefore, 33/1 is an appealing Grand National each-way price for Monbeg Dude, especially as he has never finished out of the places in contests over 3m4f or further and has proven stamina based on his form on heavy ground.
The obvious negative to his chances is that he is known to be a particularly erratic jumper and even though the Aintree fences are less demanding than they once were, Monbeg Dude will struggle if making his regular clutch of errors.
Furthermore, his extravagant hold-up style is unlikely to be rewarded in the Grand National, where there is a greater risk than usual that he will be brought down by a faller running ahead of him.
Amberleigh House, in 2004, is the only horse in recent memory that has won the Grand National after being held up in a manner similar to that usually employed aboard Monbeg Dude.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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