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Minella Rocco 'has great chance' to be first top-weight Grand National winner since Red Rum

From BBC - March 20, 2018

Minella Rocco has the potential to overcome top weight and win next month's Grand National, says trainer Jonjo O'Neill.

Last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up did not run in the race this year because of the conditions.

"I think he has a great chance in the National if the ground dries up," O'Neill told BBC Sport.

Minella Rocco heads the list of 73 acceptors for the National at Aintree on 14 April.

Definitly Red, Edwulf and Outlander have been withdrawn.

The National is a handicap chase, with each runner allotted a different weight to carry by the official handicapper Phil Smith.

Minella Rocco, rated a 16-1 chance by bookmakers, will bid to become the first top weight to win since the legendary Red Rum in 1974.

The eight-year-old, who has had wind operations to help with his breathing, is set to carry 11st 10lb after the weights rose 3lb at the latest scratchings stage.

Blaklion, next in the weights on 11st 9lb, is 10-1 joint favourite alongside Total Recall.

O'Neill won the National in 2010 with Do not Push It, ridden by AP McCoy, under a weight of 11st 5lb.

"Minella Rocco would be a better horse on form. Do not Push It would not be a Gold Cup horse," said O'Neill.

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