With the 2014 Crabbies grand National weights revealed earlier in the week it's all go go go for trainers and connections up and down the land as they finally start full-on preparations for their potential runners, without the danger of affecting their handicap.
Haydock Racecourse will play host to the Betfred Grand National Trial on Saturday and although he should have been leading the charge, jockey Paul Carberry will no longer be riding Monbeg Dude, after Michael Scudamore declared that he would not be running after he had not scoped perfectly this morning.
It was always going to be a close call with Scudamore, earlier in the week, stating to the Racing Post that “With the National in the back of our minds we wouldn't want to go to Haydock and leave our season there if it was completely atrocious ground.
“We want to run there, it works well with timings between now and Aintree but we will be watching the weather closely.”
And although he scoped badly, the signs weren't good anyway with the going at Haydock being described as heavy with up to 30mm of rain forecast before Saturday with more storms and high winds forecast over the next few days.
Monbeg Dude was one of 47 entered for the Trial but with two days to go that number has been whittled down to just 14, a substantial field that is sure to test some of the Grand National hopefuls, including Across The Bay, Hawkes Point, Well Refreshed and Merry King who all still remain in contention for Saturday's race.
Monbeg Dude was handed a weight of 10st 9lb for the National and has general ante-post odds of 20-1 with many of the UK's leading bookmakers.
Photo Credit | Meteorshoweryn