TRAINER Michael Scudamore has revealed that stable star Monbeg Dude faces a race against time to be fit for next year’s Crabbie’s Grand National after picking up a tendon injury.
Scudamore co-owns the ever popular horse, a gallant third in this year’s Aintree race, with a triumvirate of rugby union internationals – Otley-born World Cup winner Mike Tindall, James Simpson-Daniel and Nicky Robinson.
The quartet only acquired the ‘Dude’ when Tindall, slightly worse for wear, started bidding at a charity auction.
Scudamore says the 10-year-old, a former winner of the Welsh National, won’t race before next April’s National at the earliest.
“We need everything to go right,” the trainer told The Yorkshire Post last night.
“It’s very disappointing for a small yard like ours.
“We have about 20 horses in training and he’s our standard-bearer.
“The injury only came to light when we started cantering him recently – we suspect he picked it up in this year’s National.
“He has had a bit of treatment and he will be scanned again in the next couple of months to see how it has all settled down and how it has responded to the treatment. We should know then how likely getting him to Aintree will be.”
Scudamore recorded a first-ever Cheltenham Festival winner when Next Sensation, ridden by his brother Tom, prevailed in the finale in March. He says the two-mile chaser could be stepped up in trip and is likely to reappear at next month’s season-opening meeting at the headquarters of National Hunt racing.
However, he expects the forthcoming season to be much tougher for No Through Road who won five successive races last season before coming to grief at Wetherby on Boxing Day.
n Malton trainer Richard Fahey is aiming to turn on the style on Ladies Day at Thirsk on Saturday when he saddles Third Time Lucky in the featured Personal Touches Handicap.
Fahey looks sure to finish as leading trainer for the season at Thirsk with 11 winners to his name at the track this year and a win for Third Time Lucky would certainly put the gloss on it.
“He has come out of his race at Goodwood well and is in really good order so we have to be very hopeful of a big run from him,” added the in-form trainer.
Fahey has an excellent chance of landing the Group Three Country Gentlemen’s Association Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury today if the progressive Mayfair Lady can step up in grade.
The two-year-old was a wide-margin winner at last month’s Ebor Festival at York and will once again be ridden by talented teenager Jack Garritty– the Malton-born jockey is this season’s leading apprentice rider.
Sabrina Harty, meanwhile, is praying for drying conditions at Doncaster in the next week to allow stable stars Ansgar and Kalann to head to Town Moor.
The County Kildare handler is hoping to see Ansgar defend his crown in the Park Stakes on Saturday week, while Kalann is set for a second tilt at the previous afternoon’s Doncaster Cup, having run a fantastic race to finish third at huge odds 12 months ago.
Both horses will cross the Irish Sea with something to prove as Ansgar was well-beaten on his return from a break at the Curragh recently and Kalann has not been seen since early June. Harty says the stablemates are in “great order”.
She added: “Hopefully they’ll both go back to Doncaster. We just want some real good ground for both of them.”