Top weight Minella Rocco has been withdrawn from Saturday’s Grand National at Aintree, after worsening ground was deemed unsuitable for the eight-year-old, the Racing Post report.
It is not the first time Minella Rocco has been withdrawn from a big race, after also being pulled out of last month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup due to the conditions on the day of the race.
Talking to the media, trainer Jonjo O’Neill said:
It’s very frustrating to say the least but, after talking the matter over with the horse’s connections, we have reached the decision that Minella Rocco will miss the race on account of the ground.
Minella Rocco, who was originally priced at 25-1, was looking to become the first top weight to win the world famous race since the legendary Red Rum won back in 1974.
As a result of four millimetres of rain on Friday morning, the going on the Grand National course was officially described as soft, and heavy on the Canal Turn.
However, due to Minella Rocco’s absence, Thunder And Roses, the 10-year-old trained by Mouse Morris will now race instead as a first reserve.
Thunder And Roses will be ridden by JJ Slevin, after his Irish Grand National win just last week on General Principle.