Trainer Mouse Morris feels China Rock is capable of challenging for a place in Friday’s Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.
In his last outing the nine-year-old finished a disappointing fifth in the Hennessey Gold Cup. However, Morris explained that his charge was struggling with a minor lung infection at Leopardstown in February and has backed China Rock to bounce back in the Gold Cup.
“He’s ready to run and there’s some good place money to pick up. I was a little bit disappointed with his run in the Hennessy in Leopardstown as he looked like the winner two out, but he’s a different horse on this better ground,” Morris told the British Horseracing Authority.
“At the time I thought he must have just blown up, but he actually scoped badly afterwards with a low-grade lung infection and still wasn’t beaten that far on the day. If he can finish fourth, fifth or sixth, I’ll be happy.”
China Rock, who will be partnered by Andrew Lynch in the showpiece event at Cheltenham, is priced at 50/1 (each-way 1/4, 1,2,3) with bet365 to come out on top.
Last year’s winner Long Run is the favourite with bet365 at 7/4, while double champion Kauto Star is available at 7/2.