Friday 18 August 2017

Morris aiming to rule National again with three Aintree hopes

Morris is already thinking of the Randox Health Grand National for three of his string. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE
Morris is already thinking of the Randox Health Grand National for three of his string. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

Johnny Ward

Rule The World will not be among them but Mouse Morris is already thinking of the Randox Health Grand National for three of his string.

Having won the race last season under David Mullins, Rule The World was subsequently retired. He returned to Morris' stables in Co Tipperary yesterday, when the 65-year-old trainer discussed plans for the Aintree race around five months in advance.

With Rogue Angel having won the Irish National, it was a sensational end to the season for the Galwegian, and that one is among his trio being aimed at Liverpool in 2017.

Rogue Angel will gain first-hand experience of the difficult Aintree fences when he runs in the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase on Saturday, Morris said.

"Rogue Angel is in really good form. He'll run in Liverpool and we'll see what happens after that," he explained. "The plan is to have one or two more runs before the Grand National to keep him fresh.

"He had a slight wind problem. He ran OK at Cork last time but he just didn't get home. He had a small operation since and it seems to have made a big, big difference.

"Thunder And Roses is also well and the plan is to run him at Fairyhouse in the Porterstown Handicap this weekend.

"Dromnea was fourth in the Clonmel Oil Chase earlier in the month and might run next in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas."

Meanwhile, Ryan Moore has been crowned 2016 Longines World's Best Jockey for the second time in three years.

Worldwide

He won eight of the top 100 highest-rated Group/Grade One races worldwide, as established by the Longines Rankings Committee.

Fellow rider Martin Harley will appear before a disciplinary panel on a non-trier charge for his ride on Rebel Lightning at Chelmsford on November 17.

The Co Donegal native rode the horse into a six-length fifth. According to the stewards' report on the day, Harley said that "the gelding was denied a clear run".

Jumps jockey Sam Twiston-Davies returns after seven-and-a-half weeks out through injury at Ffos Las today.

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