National hope Monbeg Genius cleared to continue racing

Leading Randox Grand National contender Monbeg Genius will not be affected by a restraint order placed on the assets of owners Baroness Michelle Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman, the British Horseracing Authority has confirmed.

Assets linked to the couple have been frozen, as a National Crime Agency investigation into PPE firm Medpro continues.

According to the Financial Times, about £75million of assets, including a townhouse in Belgravia and an estate on the Isle of Man, have either been frozen or restrained following an application by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The Jonjo O’Neill-trained Monbeg Genius, officially owned by Barrowman Racing Limited, was third behind Corach Rambler and Fastorslow in the Ultima Handicap at last year’s Cheltenham Festival and was last seen finishing in the same position in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury in early December.

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He has since missed potential outings in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow and the Classic Chase at Warwick due to a setback.

The BHA said last month it was looking into how a court order would affect the couple’s equine string and they have now been cleared to race.

A statement released by the ruling body on Friday read: “Having been made aware of a restraint order on a number of assets belonging to Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman, the BHA liaised with relevant parties in order to understand the potential implications this had for their involvement in racing.

“Following these discussions, the BHA can confirm that horses in the ownership of Barrowman Racing Ltd are not affected by the restraint order and are therefore permitted to continue to race.”

O’Neill said last month he hoped Monbeg Genius would come right in time for Aintree, but that he would need a run beforehand to make the cut for the race, which this year will have a reduced field of 34 runners.

His ante-post price for the National on April 13 ranges from 14-1 to 20-1.

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