Hunter chase route looms for Minella Rocco


Soft ground to blame for uninspiring Cheltenham return.

Minella Rocco may be sent hunter chasing if he fails to return to form on his next outing.

Runner-up in the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup to Sizing John, the nine-year-old has struggled in the main since.

Jonjo O’Neill is convinced the fire still burns brightly – but Minella Rocco was pulled up at Cheltenham first time out this season, when his handler was inclined to blame the very soft ground.

He said: “Minella is fine, and there is not a bother with him.

“He just didn’t want the ground like it was, and Barry (Geraghty) did the right thing in pulling him up, because it would have been a waste of time him keep going round.

“We will look for another couple of races for him, but we will probably end up going hunter chasing with him.

We didn’t learn anything as to where he is last time, which is a bit frustrating, so we will give him another run before potentially going down that route.

“He is in grand form at home and is in good shape.

If he does go hunter chasing he will give someone a good old spin.”

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