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    Monbeg Genius' Grand National Entry in Jeopardy Amid Owners' Asset Freeze
Monbeg Genius' Grand National Entry in Jeopardy Amid Owners' Asset Freeze

Monbeg Genius' Grand National Entry in Jeopardy Amid Owners' Asset Freeze

Michelle Mone's top Grand National horse, Monbeg Genius, could be excluded from the race. This is due to a British Horseracing Authority (BHA) inquiry. This follows a court order to freeze £75 million in assets. The assets belong to Mone and her spouse, Doug Barrowman. The order was made by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The BHA has acknowledged these developments. They are engaging with relevant parties to see their effects, if any, on their racing. The investigation is about whether Monbeg Genius, a top contender for the prestigious steeplechase, is hurt by the asset freeze. This would make the horse ineligible to compete.

Monbeg Genius was trained by Jonjo O'Neill. The horse was withdrawn from the Welsh Grand National and another big event earlier in the month. Mone bought it in November 2020 for £80,000 as a gift for Barrowman. The eight-year-old gelding is now listed at 20-1 odds for the Grand National. The race offers a £500,000 prize to the winner's owner.

The media and the Agency have closely examined the couple. This is because they are linked to PPE Medpro. The company had controversial £202 million government contracts during the Covid-19 pandemic. The government seeks to reclaim £122 million plus costs from PPE Medpro for substandard equipment. Barrowman has publicly refuted any misconduct, criticising the government's handling of PPE procurement.

The asset freeze, revealed last week, was initially issued in December.

People noted Monbeg Genius's Grand National potential after a strong performance in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last March. Trainer O'Neill remarked that the horse was not in top shape earlier this month. But, he remains a possible Grand National contender, depending on his recovery.

O'Neill recently said that Monbeg Genius is almost ready to train fully. But, he would need a race before the Grand National in April. Participation could be a problem if the horse is part of the Barrowmans' frozen assets. His value now far exceeds the price they paid.

The Grand National is Britain's most famous race. It is known for being open to diverse owners. This is unlike events like the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Monbeg Genius is involved. The horse is owned by a couple in controversy. This involvement poses challenges to the race's public image.

The representatives of Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman have not responded. They have not responded to requests for comments.

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