Minella Rocco has Grand National in his sights after missing Cheltenham

Sun 18 Mar 2018

Minella Rocco will head straight for the Randox Health Grand National after sidestepping Friday's Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Jonjo O'Neill's charge filled the runner-up spot in last year's Gold Cup behind Sizing John, one place ahead of this year's winner Native River.

Despite a largely disappointing campaign so far, the JP McManus-owned eight-year-old was set for another appearance in the blue riband before being taken out on the morning of the race due to the prevailing testing conditions at Prestbury Park.

O'Neill said: "The ground was going to be no good for him in the Gold Cup really as he wants nice ground.

"He is in good form at home and the plan is to go to Aintree now for the Grand National.

"Hopefully the ground will dry out between now and then and they will get nice ground up there."

Minella Rocco is a general 20-1 shot for the Grand National on April 14.

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