Confirmed: Minella Rocco a non-runner in Cheltenham Gold Cup
Jonjo O’Neill withdrew JP McManus’ eight-year-old due to concerns about ground
The 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup field has now been reduced to 17 runners. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Minella Rocco is a non-runner in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, trainer Jonjo O’Neill has announced.
The Jackdaws Castle handler withdrew the JP McManus-owned eight-year-old on Friday morning due to concerns about the ground on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival.
Cheltenham has sustained three millimetres of overnight rain, with the going soft, heavy in places.
O’Neill tweeted: “Minella Rocco is a non-runner in today’s Cheltenham Gold Cup due to the ground.”
McManus will still be represented in the race by the Joseph O’Brien-trained Edwulf and Tony Martin’s Anibale Fly.
Minella Rocco’s defection has reduced the Gold Cup field to 17 runners.