Monbeg Dude has a Grand chance in National Trial
Monbeg Dude has posted a series of solid efforts this season, and can take advantage of a drop in the weights to land the Grand National Trial at Haydock today (2.55).
Trained by Michael Scudamore, this gelding is a tough and consistent sort, whose finest hour came in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow in 2013 when beating Teaforthree by 1/2 a length under a sublime ride from Paul Carberry.
Since then, the 10-year-old has gone on to land a class 1 handicap at Cheltenham off a mark of 138, and run really well in some top class contests.
They include and excellent fourth of 19 to Many Clouds in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury off 146 on his penultimate start, and a fine fourth to Emperor’s Choice off the same rating in the Coral Welsh National last time out under a welter burden of 11st 9lb.
Monbeg Dude has since been dropped 2lb to a mark of 144, and that gives him major claims at the weights in this stamina sapping 3m 5f contest.
The soft ground will also hold no fears, and the booking of 19-times champion jockey AP McCoy to partner Monbeg Dude for the first time suggests connections mean business.
There are plenty of dangers in a wide open contest, including Rigadin De Beauchene, who romped to a 10 length success in last year’s renewal.
The Venetia Williams trained 10-year-old has been badly out of form and pulled up in three subsequent outings, but his handicap mark has fallen as a result and it would be no surprise to see him bounce back.
This will have been Rigadin De Beauchene’s target for some time, and Williams does extremely well with her staying chasers.
Benvolio finished eight lengths in front of Monbeg Dude when runner-up in the Coral Welsh National, but now meets the selection on 8lb worse terms.
That should be enough for Monbeg to turn the tables, but Benvolio is trained by Paul Nicholls and remains open to further progress after just seven starts over fences.
Another in with a chance is the David Pipe trained Broadway Buffalo.
The seven-year-old toyed with the opposition when landing the Tommy Whittle over 3m at this track on bottomless ground, and may have found the race coming too quickly when just fifth at Wetherby six days later.
Broadway Buffalo has since been given a 50-day break to freshen up, and should be competitive off a mark of 137 if getting the trip.