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Minella could go for Irish Gold Cup

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15.01.17

Minella Rocco, winner of the National Hunt Chase at last year's Festival, shaped well in his seasonal reappearance in November, finishing third in a well-contested long-distance handicap.

The JP McManus-owned seven-year-old looked to be coming off second best in a battle with Grand National hero Many Clouds when falling at the final fence at Aintree last month.

But a rematch could be on the cards in the world's most famous steeplechase if he comes through his Irish assignment on February 12 unscathed.

"He has come out of Aintree well and the physio has helped sort him out." says Jonjo, "He has now filled his frame and strengthened up. He is a great horse to have.

"The plan at the moment is to go for the Irish Gold Cup in the middle of February. We will then make a plan after that regarding Cheltenham and Aintree. He could be a National horse and that is the way I'd be going, I think."

Jonjo is beginning to fear More Of That may no longer be the horse he was once. Hopes were high prior to the start of this season he could recapture past glories, with a tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup mentioned.

Of More Of That, Jonjo said "We thought he was in great form at the start of the season but things have not quite gone right. He ran OK in Ireland. If he was right he would pick them up and carry them, but he is probably not the same horse any more. Plans are up in the air as to where he will run next."

More Of That finished sixth in the Lexus, one place behind stable companion Taquin Du Seuil.

Jonjo said of the latter: "To be fair, he ran OK in Ireland as well. He did make a few mistakes and he maybe found the ground a bit on the quick side. He is better on slower ground.

"One of the plans with him is to go for the Cotswold Chase (at Cheltenham) at the end of the month, then we will make a plan as to which way he goes at the Festival. He will be entered in everything and we will keep our options open."


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