Jonjo O'Neill retains faith in Gold Cup contender Minella Rocco

Fri 23 Feb 2018

Jonjo O'Neill remains optimistic last year's Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Minella Rocco can be a player in the race once again should conditions be in his favour.

The eight-year-old stepped up his preparations for the Grade One contest on March 16 with a two-mile gallop alongside three stablemates after racing at Huntingdon on Thursday.

Having finished fourth in a Grade One at Leopardstown over Christmas, the JP McManus-owned gelding fell on his return to the Dublin track earlier this month in the Irish Gold Cup.

O'Neill said: "He has come back from Ireland well and I am happy with him, he just needs the ground to dry out really.

"He popped round (Huntingdon) nicely and the idea was to go to the racecourse and give him a day out.

"If the ground does dry out at Cheltenham, we know the track and trip suits him well and if he can keep with them going down the hill, then we know he comes up it very well."

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