Dame Judi Dench to enter Grand National Runner
Oscar-winning actress, Dame Judi Dench, looks set to shoot for one of racing’s greatest prizes with her first-ever runner in the Randox Health Grand National.
The colours of the beloved actress are carried by Paul Nicholls-trained As De Mee. The 7-year-old Bay Gelding finished fifth in Topham Trophy previously but looks to return with fresh impetus this year with an entry in Aintree’s ultimate steeplechase.
The impressive runner, who also stormed to victory in the Grand Sefton Handicap in 2016 at Aintree, is being touted as a potential first Grand National ride for rising star Bryony Frost.
As De Mee, who is dually owned by Dench and well-regarded businessman Andy Stewart, was appropriately confirmed in a ceremony at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) to carry a weight of 10st 8lbs.
Dame Judi, now a keen racing enthusiast, confessed that her love for the sport had originally blossomed in France.
The James Bond star said: “I had a French sister-in-law whose family had a racing stable in Chantilly. I went over there with my family and they were racing in Chantilly when we went.
There was a horse named after my cat and it came in (won) and I’ve never quite known what we won because we were quite little! But it probably paid for our holiday!”
Dench added: “I used to ride a lot too, so after that, I’ve always had a huge love for racing.”
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(Quotes are taken from Aintree)