Minella Rocco each-way ante post value in Coral Welsh Grand National
David Metcalf | 12 December 2016
Minella Rocco odds each-way lead Coral Welsh Grand National ante post tips
Minella Rocco looks decent each-way value at 14/1 with the sponsors for the Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow on Tuesday, December 27 after 102 entries for Wales’s biggest race were unveiled.
The Jonjo O’Neill trained six-year-old looked a very exciting prospect when winning both his starts over hurdles, but failed to shine in his first three starts over fences last season.
However, things then finally clicked and, after finishing an eye-catching staying on second to Vyta Du Roc in a Grade 2 contest over 3m at Ascot, he got off the mark over the larger obstacles with an impressive success at the Cheltenham Festival.
Minella Rocco came from off the pace under a confident ride from Derek O’Connor to land the 20-runner 4m National Hunt Chase by 1 1/2 lengths from Native River.
He only had to be kept up to his work on the run-in to score with a bit more in hand than the winning margin suggests. Runner-up Nativbe River went on to land a Grade 1 contest at Aintree to give the form a rock solid look.
Cracking reappearance run at Cheltenham
It was a performance which suggested Minella Rocco was a young stayer that needed keeping firmly onside. That view was confirmed when he finished a cracking third of 17 to Viconte Du Noyer on seasonal reappearance in an ultra-competitive 3m 3f handicap at Cheltenham.
After being settled at the rear of the field by jockey Barry Geraghty, the son of Shirocco made a couple of costly errors before staying on in tremendous style to be closing all the way to the line and beaten just 1 1/2 lengths.
But for the mistakes, there is little doubt that Minella Rocco would have landed the spoils and it was a most encouraging return to action which suggested there was better to come.
The stamina-sapping 3m 5f of the Coral Welsh Grand National looks tailor-made for Minella Rocco and he has plenty of winning form in testing conditions which usually prevail on the big day.
Trainer and owner bidding for third success
O’Neill also knows what is required to win the valuable prize after saddling Mini Sensation and Synchronised to victory in 2002 and 2011 respectively.
Like Minella Rocco, they both carried the famous gold and green hooped colours of leading Irish owner JP McManus.
Such powerful connections like nothing more to lay one out and land a punt in big handicaps. Minella Rocco fits that bill and looks to have the perfect profile to run a huge race in the Coral Welsh Grand National.