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Doncaster

  • 15:30 William Hill Grimthorpe Chase 3m 2f

  • (Handicap) £50,000 added 5yo+ 12 ran
  • Winner £32,490 2nd £9,540 3rd £4,770 4th £2,385
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 24.10s
  • Off time: 15:30:27

View from connections: Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster

Last Updated: 28/02/14 2:28pm

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Monbeg Dude: Doncaster is the right option

Monbeg Dude: Doncaster is the right option

The William Hill Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster on Saturday gives Monbeg Dude the chance to enhance his claims for the Crabbie's Grand National after a poor scope caused him to miss the Betfred Grand National at Haydock.

He will be reunited with Paul Carberry, who partnered him to glory in last season's Welsh National.

"We had the setback when we wanted to run him at Haydock with his blood tests but that has all cleared up now," trainer Michael Scudamore told BBC Radio Five Live.

"He had a few options but the race at Doncaster seems the right one and its exciting to get him out again. Paul (Carberry) won the Welsh National on him with a great ride and we're delighted to have him back. We're lucky to have someone of his experience.

"Because of the people involved he has got a bit more coverage and a wave of interest. I don't see it as pressure, it's more excitement. The numbers that we have this is what we have always dreamed of, to be in this position so I'm just trying to enjoy it."

Monbeg Dude is owned by a syndicate that includes former England rugby union captain Mike Tindall, husband of the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips.

His fellow co-owner and Gloucester rugby winger James Simpson-Daniel said: "We're living the dream, our luck has been in one direction thus far and if we can continue to enjoy it, we're all very good friends which has made it even more enjoyable.

"I'm not playing much rugby at the moment and I get a lot of banter as I always seem to get injured Cheltenham week but this is genuine!"

Another National winner in the line-up is Godsmejudge, who took the Scottish equivalent at Ayr for Alan King in April and is another on target for the big one at Aintree.

"He has not run since disappointing at Sandown in early December, but that was the time when our horses were just starting to go wrong, so we put a line through that," the Barbury Castle handler told www.alankingracing.co.uk.

"He has been working well, and, having skipped Haydock last week because of the heavy ground, we are looking to get back on track given the right conditions."

Paul Nicholls believes both his runners , Mon Parrain and Harry the Viking, have something to prove this weekend.

Harry The Viking, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, looks to be the pick of his duo as he is a course and distance winner and ran quite well back at Town Moor three weeks ago when wearing blinkers for the first time.

Mon Parrain has not shown much in the few races he has had in recent seasons, but he has been a good horse, finishing second in the Topham at Aintree in April 2011.

"Harry The Viking ran a bit better in blinkers the last day and the better the ground the better the chance he'll have," said the Ditcheat trainer.

"I think he needs to improve again to win a race like this, so we'll see how he goes. Mon Parrain would have a chance if he can come back to the form of a couple of years ago, but he has been out of form. Both horses have something to prove."

Night In Milan got stuck in the mud on his last visit to Doncaster for the Sky Bet Chase but he had won on his previous outing there and the drier conditions are expected to suit the Keith Reveley-trained eight-year-old.

"He likes the track and the ground should be perfect for him all being well," said Reveley.

"He's usually a very sound jumper. We'll have a go but I'm not convinced he's that well-handicapped at the moment.

"The last time he ran in the Sky Bet there the ground had gone much too soft. He did jump well in front but it was more suited to a closing-type of horse that day.

"If he can bounce away fairly handy tomorrow, get into a good rhythm, we'll see what happens."

Real Milan is another who should benefit from the improved conditions.

"He'll like the better ground and that's what we've been waiting for," said his trainer Donald McCain.

"He ran well there in December and ran even better there last day (at Wetherby) on ground he doesn't like. Fingers crossed he'll run a nice race."

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