Monbeg Dude undergoing tests after disappointing Cheltenham
Monbeg Dude is being checked over to see if all is well after he disappointed connections at Cheltenham last week.
Trainer Michael Scudamore is hoping it was just Monbeg Dude's aversion to a tongue strap that caused him to run below expectations in the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase won by The Druids Nephew.
Should the 10-year-old be given the all-clear, he will then be prepared for another crack at the Crabbie's Grand National in which he was seventh last April.
Monbeg Dude, part-owned by former England rugby union captain Mike Tindall, had performed with credit in his previous races this season including fourth in both the Hennessy Gold Cup and the Welsh National.
"We were very disappointed with his run at Cheltenham. We're just not sure. We're doing a few tests to see what comes back," said Scudamore.
"One idea is maybe he didn't like having the tongue strap on, but he has come back bright and happy in himself. For whatever reason he just did not perform on the day.
"It's back to the drawing board a little with him, but other than that he seems quite happy.
"The National is still the option as long as he's OK. Up until Cheltenham he'd been ultra consistent and running really well which is why Cheltenham came as big a disappointment as it was.
"We didn't expect him to win going there, but we did think he would run his race. Sadly, he didn't appear to do so at all.
"Hopefully he just didn't like having the tongue strap on and fought against that. We are just running a few tests to make sure he's OK and will make decisions from there.
"If he's OK we'll go for the National. He's come back bright and happy so hopefully there won't be any problems. We're just going to wait and see."