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    Monbeg Genius Poised for Grand National Appearance, Said to Damage the Industry
Monbeg Genius Poised for Grand National Appearance, Said to Damage the Industry

Monbeg Genius Poised for Grand National Appearance, Said to Damage the Industry

Monbeg Genius, the racehorse co-owned by Michelle Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman, central figures in the PPE scandal, remains on course to compete as a top contender in the upcoming Grand National at Aintree on April 13. Trainer Jonjo O’Neill confirmed at a lunch event in Liverpool that Monbeg Genius, currently joint sixth-favourite at 16-1 with William Hill for the prestigious race, is set to have his Aintree prep run at Kelso early next month.

O’Neill provided reassurance that the gelding has overcome minor issues since his last outing in December, where he performed admirably in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury, finishing third. Expressing satisfaction with Monbeg Genius's recent work, O’Neill said that he is confident in the horse's readiness for the upcoming challenge.

Image Source: Midjourney

The attendance of Mone and Barrowman at Aintree to witness Monbeg Genius in action remains uncertain, especially considering the potential reception from the crowd in light of their controversial connections. The Racing Post recently cautioned against the implications of a victory for Monbeg Genius, raising concerns about the impact such an outcome could have on the sport of horse racing.

O’Neill refrained from commenting on matters concerning the horse's owners and maintained focus on his training responsibilities. With the British Horseracing Authority confirming that Monbeg Genius is unaffected by a restraint order on his owners' assets, the horse is expected to carry 10st 4lb, positioning him as a lighter-weighted contender in the Grand National lineup.

The dominance of Irish-trained horses in jumps racing is evident in the National entries, with Ireland accounting for 56 of the 87 horses remaining in contention. Notable trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott have a significant presence among the top contenders, with Mullins already planning to bring over 70 horses to the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Image Source: Midjourney

Elliott expressed intentions to run at least nine horses at Aintree, highlighting Galvin and Chemical Energy as potential standouts. Mullins, with 13 entries in the Grand National, emphasised the strategic approach to assessing weights before finalising plans for the race.

As preparations for the Grand National intensify, Aintree is focusing on improving security measures to address potential protests following last year's delayed race. Clerk of the course, Sulekha Varma, emphasised the collaboration with law enforcement to ensure a smooth and secure event, building on the lessons learned from previous experiences to enhance the overall race-day experience.

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