Grand National 2015 Fact Files
Monbeg Dude (IRE) 10-10-07
Breeding: b g Witness Box (USA) - Ten Dollar Bill (IRE) (Accordion (IRE))
Breeder: Hilary O'Connor
Born: April 15, 2005
Trainer: Michael Scudamore
*Seventh, beaten 22 lengths by Pineau De Re, in the 2014 Crabbie’s Grand National
*Stayed on after being outpaced when 14th of 24, beaten 25 lengths by The Druids Nephew in the Grade Three Ultima Business
Solutions Handicap Chase over three miles and a furlong at the Cheltenham Festival on March 10 (wore tongue-tie for first time).
*Ran well in three major handicap staying chases earlier this season, taking third in the Betfred Grand National Trial over three miles and five furlongs at Haydock Park on February 14 and fourth in both the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow on December 27 and Newbury’s Hennessy Gold Cup on November 29.
*Enjoyed finest hour to date when edging out Teaforthree by a half-length in a thrilling finish to the Coral Welsh National (nearly three and three quarter miles) on heavy ground at Chepstow in January, 2013.
*Was purchased at a post-racing Brightwells auction at Cheltenham in January, 2010, for £12,000, although Mike Tindall, who was responsible for the winning bid, had never previously seen Monbeg Dude and had his back to the ring when the horse was offered for sale. James Simpson-Daniel and Michael Scudamore were with Tindall and each took a quarter-share. They got in touch with Nicky Robinson and he agreed to take the remaining 25 per cent.
*Has his own Twitter handle - @MonbegDude – and his improved jumping over the past couple of seasons has been attributed in part to schooling sessions with Zara Phillips, wife of part-owner Mike Tindall.
Race record: Starts: 23; Wins: 4; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £156,497
The Oydunow syndicate consists of trainer Michael Scudamore plus two former rugby union internationals – Mike Tindall, James Simpson-Daniel and current rugby player Nicky Robinson.
Mike Tindall MBE, who was born in Otley, West Yorkshire, on October 18, 1978, has represented England on 75 occasions and captained his country seven times. He spent 10 years playing centre for Gloucester RFC until his retirement from professional rugby in July, 2015, having joined the club from local rivals Bath in 2005. He was educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield, and, as well as representing England as a schoolboy, also had trials for the national athletics team as a high-jumper. Tindall was offered a place at Durham University to read psychology but decided to play rugby professionally for Bath – he joined the club aged 18 in 1997. He earned his first England cap in 2000 and played outside centre in the 2003 World Cup Final at Sydney, in which England beat Australia 20-17 after extra time. On July 15, 2014, Tindall announced his retirement from professional rugby after playing for Bath and Gloucestershire. His engagement to Zara Phillips, the daughter of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, was announced in December, 2010, and the pair were married at Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh, on July 30, 2011 – a ceremony that was attended by all of the senior royals including The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Prince William. Tindall and his wife became parents for the first time on January 17, 2014, with the arrival of Mia Grace Tindall, who is 16th in line to the British throne. Tindall was awarded an MBE for his services to rugby in the New Year’s Honours List in 2003.
James Simpson-Daniel, who was born in Stockton-on-Tees, Co Durham, on May 30, 1982, attended Sedbergh School in Cumbria – an educational establishment that has also produced fellow England internationals Will Carling and Will Greenwood. After representing his county and region while at school, Simpson-Daniel joined Gloucester in 2001 and remained at the club until his retirement in September, 2014, primarily as a winger. He played for England on 10 occasions but missed out on the 2003 World Cup-winning squad with a back problem. On September 2, 2014, Simpson- Daniel announced his retirement due to an ongoing ankle injury after playing for Gloucestershire throughout his professional career. His older brother was initially given the nickname “Sinbad” after the character in Brookside, but the name has subsequently been passed down to James – the Sinbad Testimonial Chase was run his honour at Cheltenham in November, 2010. He succeeded Zara Phillips as president of Cheltenham Racecourse’s 18-24 Club in 2005. Simpson-Daniel set up sports nutrition company Kings Biltong along with his brothers Charlie and Mark, who also both played rugby professionally. He currently lives on the outskirts of Cheltenham with his wife Lucy and two sons. He started working for bookmakers Fitzdares in January, 2015.
Nicky Robinson, who was born in Cardiff on January 3, 1982, has won 13 caps for Wales and currently plays fly-half for Bristol RFC, although he recently signed to play for French club Oyonnax for the 2015/16 season. He went to school at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf in Cardiff along with his older brother Jamie, who has also played rugby for Wales. Nicky started his professional career at Cardiff in 2003 before moving to Gloucester in 2009 and then to London Wasps in 2011. Robinson is married to Lynsey, the daughter of legendary Liverpool FC player and manager Kenny Dalglish. He was informed of his ownership of Monbeg Dude when Mike Tindall texted him a photograph of the purchase slip, accompanied with the message: “Congrats, you’ve got a leg of a horse”. If Monbeg Dude were to be successful at Aintree, he would not be the first Grand National winner to have a rugby connection – the 1979 victor Rubstic was owned by John Douglas, who played for Scotland in the 1960s, while the 1928 scorer Tipperary Tim was bred by Irish international John Ryan.
Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2014-7 Monbeg Dude
Michael Scudamore (Bromsash, Herefordshire)
Born: February 24, 1984
Background: a son of eight-time champion jump jockey Peter Scudamore, who is assistant trainer to Scottish handler Lucinda Russell, and grandson of the late Michael snr, who rode Oxo to victory in the 1959 Grand National at Aintree and also was successful in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the King George VI Chase. Mother Marilyn is a point-to-point trainer, while his brother Tom is a successful jump jockey with seven Cheltenham Festival wins to his name, including two at the 2015 four-day meeting in March. Michael grew up surrounded by horses in the Cotswolds – Peter was assistant trainer to Nigel Twiston-Davies when the trainer sent out Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002) to win the Crabbie’s Grand National. Michael was a keen pony rider as a child and enjoyed show jumping and one-day eventing, although he initially wanted to become a rugby player and played as a flanker for Gloucester Academy and Wales U-19s. He also spent two seasons playing professionally for Ebbw Vale as well as a spell with Gwent Dragons U-21s. Realising he wouldn’t make it at the highest level as a rugby player, he instead tried his luck as a point-to-point jockey, riding three winners in a season. As well as working with his father, he spent time with Dennis Caro, James Fanshawe and Martin Pipe. Michael became assistant to his grandfather in 2005 before taking over the reins at Eccleswall Court, Bromsash near Ross-On-Wye on April 30, 2008.
Major Wins include: Henrietta Knight Handicap Chase (2012 Monbeg Dude), Coral Welsh National (2013 Monbeg Dude), Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Chase (2013 Monbeg Dude), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase (2015 Next Sensation – his first at the Cheltenham Festival)
Crabbie’s Grand National Record: 2014-7 Monbeg Dude