Sunday 22 January 2017

Morris to fly in Rogue Angel for Becher

Thomas Kelly

Published 29/11/2016 | 02:30

Morris believes Rogue Angel is coming back to his best after needing his first two runs of the autumn in the Munster and Cork Nationals. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE
Morris believes Rogue Angel is coming back to his best after needing his first two runs of the autumn in the Munster and Cork Nationals. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

Last season's Irish Grand National hero Rogue Angel is set to have his first taste of the Aintree fences on Saturday after being reported by trainer Mouse Morris to be on target for the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase.

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Morris believes Rogue Angel is coming back to his best after needing his first two runs of the autumn in the Munster and Cork Nationals.

"He'll run on Saturday. He'll come on a ton for his last run," said the Tipperary handler. "The course should hold no fears for him. He stays well and he jumps well."

Morris also sent out Rule The World to win the Aintree spectacular in the spring for owners Gigginstown House Stud, who also have the Gordon Elliott-trained Clarcam and Noel Meade's Wounded Warrior among 33 horses confirmed at the five-day stage.

Elliott also has Ucello Conti, while other possible Irish raiders are Eric McNamara's Dare To Endeavour, the Patrick Griffin-trained Portrait King and Jim Dreaper's Sizing Coal.

Heading the weights is Kim Bailey's The Last Samuri, runner-up in last season's Grand National. Colin Tizzard is enjoying a tremendous season and could rely upon Viconte Du Noyer, winner of a Cheltenham handicap chase on his first run for the Dorset trainer.

Last year's winner Highland Lodge is being prepared for the race again by Jimmy Moffatt, while Nigel Twiston-Davies has left in Saturday's Hennessy Gold Cup third Double Ross and Cogry.

Other old favourites standing their ground include Alvarado, Gas Line Boy, Saint Are and Midnight Prayer.

Meanwhile, Hidden Cyclone could have his next race at Punchestown over the Christmas period following his fine effort when finishing third in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday.

Trainer John 'Shark' Hanlon was delighted with the performance of his stable stalwart, which has been placed in eight Grade One races.

"He's home and he's 100pc. He ran a cracker again as he always does," said Hanlon. "We'd love to win a Grade One with him, but I think we're running out of time.

"We'll probably give him one more chance at a Grade One, but I haven't looked yet. He'll probably run somewhere over Christmas or the New Year in some hurdle race.

"There's a nice race at Punchestown he might go for at the end of December for his next run."

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