Monbeg Dude

Monbeg Dude (left) beating Teaforthree in Saturday's Welsh National

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

Haydock not Aintree on agenda for Monbeg Dude

THE connections of Coral Welsh National winner Monbeg Dude have identified another John Smith's Grand National trial as their flagship chaser's next target while again stressing that Aintree is unlikely to be considered this season.

Victory in Chepstow's showpiece contest came despite a series of mistakes, a factor trainer Michael Scudamore believes would make the sport's most famous race an unsuitable target this season.

However, the eight-year-old - whose owners include rugby union stars Mike Tindall, James Simpson-Daniel and Nicky Robinson - is set to tackle another major handicap next time out with Haydock's Betfred Grand National Trial on February 16 on the agenda.

Scudamore, whose biggest success was achieved in no small part due to an outstanding Paul Carberry ride, said: "Given the way he jumped at Chepstow the Grand National would almost certainly come too soon for him so I think we'll resist the temptation even to enter.

"He is only eight and has plenty of time to run in a Grand National. Before Saturday we had been thinking that if everything went well the race we would target would be the Grand National trial at Haydock.

Tony McCoy - Cheltenham

Tony McCoy: National thoughts

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

"He has five weeks until that race, which should be enough, and it looks like a nice target for him."

Teaforthree, the 11-4 favourite who was half a length behind Monbeg Dude in the Welsh National, could be the ideal type for Aintree according to jockey Tony McCoy.

"He's a pretty good jumper and won the four-miler at the Cheltenham Festival last year," said the champion jockey.

"He's a good solid horse and should have a nice weight for the National. It's the logical step for him. Hopefully he'll have a good chance."

McCoy, speaking to At The Races before riding at Plumpton on Sunday, added: "He didn't put a foot wrong yesterday and just got beat by something inspired by Paul Carberry - I wish he'd stayed in Ireland for the day."

As sporting sights go, few match the sheer excitement of 40 horses thundering towards the first fence at Aintree for the John Smith's Grand National.

A race steeped in history that always provides a story, the Grand National is the ultimate test of endurance and skill for both horse and jockey, as the pairing must navigate 30 treacherous fences, and then still have enough stamina to make a challenge on the run-in.

To manage a clear round in the 4m4f epic is no mean achievement, with the fences notoriously difficult and offering unique challenges.

Over the years, there have been countless memorable moments, Devon Loch's phantom leap in the 1956 contest, Foinavon's shock 100-1 win in 1967 and the brilliance of Red Rum, who took the chase on three occasions in 1973, 74 and 77.

In 1981 Aldaniti and Bob Champion completed a heartwarming tale when winning the race, as Aldaniti had recovered from a career-threatening injury while jockey Champion had battled back from cancer.

In 2011 the race provided another fairytale story as Donald McCain emulated his father and Aintree legend Ginger when winning with Ballabriggs - and that came just a year after champion jockey Tony McCoy finally gained victory in the race at the 15th time of asking.