Academy Award Winner Judi Dench May Have Her First Runner In The Grand National

by | 02.14.2018 | 10:13am
Academy Award-winning actress Judi Dench

Oscar-winning actress Dame Judi Dench, is known to most of the public for portraying “M” in many James Bond films, or for her lead roles in movies such as Victoria and Abdul and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. One thing about her that may not be as well-known about her, however, is that she is an avid horse racing fan.

Over the years, Dench has owned shares in several racehorses in the UK, including the hard-knocking campaigner Smokey Oakey, a Group 3 winner who raced until the age of 10.

A few years ago, Dench purchased a share in a promising hurdler, As De Mee. Dench wound up with a share in the gelding after having lunch with his owner, Andy Stewart. Stewart has campaigned several successful steeplechasers and hurdlers over the years, including multiple champion Big Buck's. Stewart had “won” a lunch date with Dench after a successful bid at a charity auction.

Fast forward four years and it appears as though As De Mee could provide Dame Judi with her first runner in the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree.

FOX Sports reports that As De Mee has a victory over the Aintree course already, having taken the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase in 2016.

According to FOX, there are 105 horses that have been entered for the Grand National. Of those, only the top 40 will be able to make the cut for the race, but As De Mee's weight allocation currently makes him the 33rd highest-rated horse on the list.

”I used to ride a lot, too, so after that I've always had a huge love for racing,” Dench said.

Read more at FOX Sports

  • Meg Hiers

    Kenneth Branagh once described walking into Judi Dench’s dressing room at the theatre as walking into a bookie’s.

    • Chris Miskell

      I think I saw that on the Graham Norton Show.

    • santacruzchuck

      What exactly does a “bookies” dressing room look like?

  • 33horses

    Aside from her wonderful acting, I knew there was something special about her.

  • David Sullivan

    This will give me another horse to pull for if he makes it to the start. I’m sure hoping he does.

  • Lehane

    The notorious Grand National at Aintree is upon us again. Those poor horses. Hurdle and steeplechase racing belongs in the history books. Judi Dench is a brilliant actor, always has been and always will be one of my favourite actors. Please Judi, stick to flat racing – jumps racing is abhorrently cruel. Steeplechase and hurdle racing in NSW, Australia was declared illegal through State government legislation on the grounds of animal cruelty many years ago.

    • David Sullivan

      The glorious Grand National at Aintree is upon us again. Those wonderful horses. Hurdle and steeplechase racing belongs everywhere. Judi Dench is a brilliant actor and one of my favorites. Please Judi get more NH horses- jumps racing is so cool.

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