Paul Carberry to renew partnership with Dude
PAUL CARBERRY will be reunited with Monbeg Dude in Saturday's Betfred Grand National Trial after a merry-go-round of jockey bookings for Haydock's big race.
The Irishman delivered one of his hold-up specials on Michael Scudamore's stayer to secure a famous victory over hot favourite and weekend rival Teaforthree in the Coral Welsh National.
Scudamore was placed in a slightly difficult position as Carberry was initially unavailable, leaving him to book his brother Tom instead.
But the Herefordshire trainer said on Thursday afternoon: "They (owners) wanted Paul, but it looked as if he would be riding at Gowran on Saturday instead.
"I wasn't quite sure if Tom would be available, I booked him, but when some of the races at Gowran were called off, Paul became available and I'm happy to have him."
Returning champion Giles Cross is one of 14 horses to have been declared for the Grade Three marathon, having narrowly beat subsequent National winner Neptune Collonges 12 months ago.
He was taken this week to Woolacombe Bay, where trainer Victor Dartnall has regularly worked his horses but was recently threatened with legal action by the beach's owners.
"It's through the kindness of some locals in North Devon that we've been able to return to the beach and Giles Cross in particular loves it," said Barnstaple-based Dartnall.
"We took him down over the sand dunes and across the beach and he had a kick and a buck and a play.
"He finds it really exciting."
Giles Cross was pulled up at Aintree and in the Welsh National on his return.
Lining up in opposition is top-weight Silver By Nature, winner of the race in both 2010 and 2011, but Lucinda Russell's grey has been sidelined since that year's National.
Ante-post favourite and Classic Chase winner Rigadin De Beauchene and an interesting runner for in-form Gary Moore in Well Refreshed have also been declared.
While the going will be heavy, the track anticipates no problems with the weather.
Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright said: "We had 16 millimetres of rain on Wednesday. I would think we have another 4mm to come before we race.
"We are certain to be heavy, but it is very mild. We should be fine."