The Jonjo O'Neill trained Minella Rocco has been rejuvenated this season turning his career back in the right direction when winning his last two contests and now said to heading back to the Cheltenham festival which has been a happy hunting ground for the 10 year old.
His trainer believes he deserves to head back to Prestbury Park in March and has a superb chance of taking the Hunters Chase on the Thursday of the festival after what he has done so far this season.
After this Minella Rocco completely lost his way racing 11 times not finishing in the top three once, being pulled up five times and falling once and it looked as if retirement was beckoning.
However, Jonjo O'Neill sent him into Hunter Chases and he has been superb and back to his best, jumping and staying like his performances of old and with the Cheltenham festival right around the corner he is currently 6/1 second favourite to land the contest.
The gelding was a Cheltenham festival winner back in 2016 when taking the four mile National Hunt Chase and then just a year later he stayed on from out the blue to take second in the Gold Cup behind Sizing John.
At the end of January the veteran went to Warwick for his first taste of a Hunters Chase and he won going away, in a quick turn around he went to Wetherby and took on last year's Cheltenham winner Hazel Hill and stayed on well to take the victory and set up a cracking contest next month.
(Credit - At The Races) It’s great to see him do well. Obviously it’s lovely when they get their confidence back,” said O’Neill.
“Being honest, he’s been lucky twice, but he’ll go to Cheltenham now.
“He deserves it to be fair – he’s qualified and however lucky he’s been, he can only beat what’s there.
“It’s great to see him happy again, so we’ll see how he gets on.”