National favourite Minella Rocca ruled out

Grand National favourite Minella Rocca has been withdrawn from the Aintree showpiece.

The seven-year-old ran in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, finishing second to Sizing John and connnections have decided against going for the national.

O’Neill tweeted: “Minella Rocco has been taken out of the Grand National this morning. He’s absolutely fine and we’ll aim him at the Gold Cup again next year.”

Owner JP McManus’ racing manager Frank Berry added: “He’s finished for the year now, he won’t be going to Punchestown either.

“He’s only seven and he had a hard race in the Gold Cup.

“It will take him a while to get over it so we felt we’d just look to next year with him.”

Following the news that Minella Rocco has been taken out of the race, David Pipe’s Vieux Lion Rouge was installed as the new favourite at 12/1.

Liam Glynn, BoyleSports spokesperson said “Following his gallant run to finish second in the Gold Cup behind Sizing John, Minella Rocco had been the subject of an ante post gamble for the Aintree feature and was as short as 10/1 for the prestigious race.

“However after the scratching of Minella Rocco, Raz De Maree is now the worst result in the ante post book having been supported down to its current price of 20/1 from an initial opening price of 40/1 back in early February when the weights were launched.”


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