Dude's Grand National hopes racing against the clock

Aintree by stacey.cavanagh                                                                         

Monbeg Dude, already an Aintree veteran after two Grand Nationals, faces a race against time in order to be fit in time for a third tilt at the world's most famous steeplechase.

Trainer Michael Scudamore has reported a tendon problem will sideline Monbeg Dude, third in the 2015 Grand National, for the next few months.

Although he hopes to get him back fit and ready to do battle at Aintree for a third time, Scudamore admits that the jigsaw pieces will need to fall perfectly into place in order for Monbeg Dude, available at the time of writing at 34.0 on betfair to win the 2016 Grand National, to line-up at Aintree.

Monbeg Dude has already shown his liking for the Aintree challenge, finishing seventh under Paul Carberry in 2014 behind the Dr Richard Newland-trained winner Pineau De Re.

He was back for more and showed he had garnered plenty from that experience as he made the frame this year, finishing third behind Many Clouds, this time with another National winner for company in 2009 winner Liam Treadwell.

Were he to make it back to Merseyside next April, Monbeg Dude would fit the profile of recent National winners perfectly.

His experience in the race would certainly stand to him and he has four wins over fences on his C.V. already. Allied to that experience, Monbeg Dude would be 11 years old when the tapes go up at Aintree next spring, with three of the last four Grand National winners doing so at age 11.

His owners are no strangers to the big sporting occasion and rugby stars James Simpson-Daniel, Mike Tindall and Nicky Robinson will be keeping their fingers crossed in the coming months.

Monbeg Dude is a real rags-to-riches tale for his owners. After being bought by Tindall for just 12,000, he has won more than 260,000 in prize money already in his career.

The highlight of his career to date undoubtedly came at Chepstow in December 2013 when he landed the Coral Welsh National under Carberry. The duo valiantly repelled the challenge of AP McCoy on the Rebecca Curtis-trained favourite Tea For Three despite a final fence blunder.

Scudamore concedes that the road to recovery is likely to be a long one now.

He will wait until early in the New Year before undergoing another scan to assess how Monbeg Dude has responded to his treatment.

Should that go according to plan, then it will be full steam ahead as the Monbeg Dude team look to make it third time lucky over the Grand National fences.

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