Friday, March 16, 2012

Mome expected to run at Aintree despite recent poor form

The 2009 John Smith's Grand National winner Mon Mome is on course to take his chance once again in the Aintree showcase event despite having run two poor races of late when failing to complete the course, writes Elliot Slater.

The 12-year-old's trainer, Venetia Williams, had felt it important to get some racecourse runs under the belt of the popular veteran even though he was set to encounter far softer ground than is ideal for him, with the result that at Haydock in January's Peter Marsh Chase and again in February's Betfred Grand National Trial Handicap Chase, the old horse was ill at ease in the heavy conditions and was pulled up some way from home on each occasion. Anyone planning a Grand National bet online will not have been impressed.

Proof that Mon Mome is no back-number had come on his previous outing when the gelded son of Passing Sale encountered a much better surface at Cheltenham and finished with a flourish over three-miles-three-furlongs to come home second to Mostly Bob (received 16lbs) in the Raceodds Handicap Chase on New Year's Day. With decent ground widely expected once again at Aintree, all concerned with owner Vida Bingham's pride and joy are expecting the return to his favourite venue and suitable conditions to spark a revival in fortunes for the horse who famously caused one of the biggest shocks in sporting history when running away with the 2009 contest under a stunned Liam Treadwell to score by 12-lengths from Comply Or Die at odds of 100/1.

Mon Mome missed last year's Grand National through injury but had been in the process of running anther massive race in the 2010 renewal when still on the heels of the leaders at the fifth last where he took a heavy fall, having run an outstanding race on his previous start when a brave third to Imperial Commander in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

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