In the autumn of 2008 his form took an upswing as, on his seasonal debut in November, he very nearly won a Class 2 handicap chase over an inadequate 2m7f, before going to Cheltenham in December and winning a Listed handicap chase over an extended 3m1f beating a very decent field. On the back of that, he went to Chepstow 15-days later to contest the Welsh National as the 9/2 fav. That race was run on soft ground which was expected to suit Mon Mome but, if you look at his subsequent form, soft/heavy ground did not bring out the best in him. He didn't run well, and so was sent to Towcester in mid-January for a 3-mile hurdle race probably to rekindle his enthusiasm. Not being the quickest horse, he could only stay on to be 2nd. He then went to Haydock in mid-February for what has now become the "National Trial" but back then it was Grade 3 handicap chase run over a furlong less than tomorrow's Betfred Grand National Trial being run over 3m4f & 97 yards. The ground at Haydock was heavy that day, and Mon Mome hated it showing now form at all - but he did finish the race. With marathon distances appearing to suit him, he missed the Cheltenham Festival in 2009 and went for the Midlands National run over 4m1f at Uttoxeter. The ground was soft that day, and Mon Mome was carrying 11st 12lb. He was the only horse carrying over 11st to finish the race, and he came home a tailed-off last of the 8 finishers - but he had been "in-the-van" up until the 18th fence.
My shortlist of chase winners over 3-mile; horses aged 8, 9 or 10; allotted weight between 10st 1lb and 11st; included Mon Mome and on reviewing his form I came to the conclusion that the likely "good-to-soft" ground on National day would suit the horse better than the soft/heavy ground on which he'd run his previous 4 races. I also knew (as he'd finished the race in 2008) that he handled the Aintree fences and stayed the trip. To me, he was almost certain to finish the race barring a mishap. I reviewed the race of 2008 and the interference at Bechers was just in camera and he looked lucky not to have been brought down - without that, I thought he could have been in the 1st-4. As such, I expected the horse to be at 16/1 but was amazed to see he was priced at 40/1 the week before the race.