Michael Scudamore is “quietly hopeful” Monbeg Dude will prove his fitness in time for the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree in April.
The 11-year-old had been a big doubt to make it back to Merseyside after suffering a tendon injury when third in the race last year.
But Scudamore claims the long-range prognosis for the 2013 Welsh National winner is much more encouraging than it had been.
He said: “Things are looking positive. He’s up and cantering and everything is going the right way.
“We must obviously take things step by step, but we are quietly hopeful (he will make it to Aintree). We would look to go down that route (a run over hurdles) or a racecourse gallop three or four weeks before the National.
“It’s just about progressing through the gears with him.”
Scudamore said stablemate Next Sensation has undergone a wind operation since his last run in December and is likely to be kept on ice for the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival — a race he won last season.
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