By Simon Jackson.
The connections of Monbeg Dude are already looking forward to the 2016 Crabbie’s Grand National after the 40-1 shot belied his odds to finish third in this year’s race.
Monbeg Dude, owned by Mike Tindall, James Simpson-Daniel, Nicky Robinson and trainer Michael Scudamore, was kept towards the rear of the field for the bulk of the four miles and three and a half furlong journey by jockey Liam Treadwell.
The 10-year-old, who finished seventh in the 2014 Grand National, made noticeable headway from four fences out and kept on well to clinch third place inside of the last half furlong to finish just under eight lengths behind the winner, Many Clouds.
“Pride is the word and I am so happy for the horse,” Scudamore said. “He is unbelievably tough and unbelievably brave. To come back here after last year as well and put in a performance like that – I am so proud of him.
“He has been to Hennessy and the Welsh National this season and placed in both as well as the National Trial. You feel guilty to keep asking him and going to the well but he seemed so well at home that we felt: “let’s give it a go”. For a small horse, I can’t believe how tough and brave he was today.
“I think Liam was buzzing from the great ride that he had. Monbeg Dude was a little bit unlucky maybe at Bechers but it probably hasn’t cost him much momentum or anything. Liam was very, very pleased with the way the horse has run.
“I think Monbeg Dude has earned a very long summer holiday now. He has been fantastic this season and we couldn’t have asked for anything more.
“The owners are buzzing. We came here with no real expectation really. We came and said let’s see what happens and hopefully get round in one piece. To be third in a National, it’s beyond all our wildest dreams. He’s not overly big and not the most imposing sort you will ever see but the one thing he has got is a big heart and that’s what matters.”
Treadwell added: “Monbeg Dude was brilliant for me. I was a long way out of my ground but it is the way to ride the horse because he did not know he was in the race for three quarters of it.
“I thought I might win going to the elbow but his run has just petered out. I had a fantastic ride and roll on next year.”
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