Promising chaser Loughderg Rocco has been ruled for the rest of the season through injury
The son of Shirocco overturned the odds-on Unexpected Party, who was third in Grade One company behind Arkle favourite Jonbon previously, at Leicester in December. But any plans of a return to Cheltenham, where he was fifth in the Grade Two Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle behind Blazing Khal in December 2021, have had to be scrapped by trainer Laura Morgan. The seven-year-old, owned by the Newark Castle Partnership, was as short as 10-1 for next month's Brown Advisory Novices' Chase at the Festival. "He won't be going as he has picked up a little injury unfortunately. It is a bit disappointing for us," said Morgan. "He won well at Leicester, but we will have to give him a bit of time now. Unfortunately, it is just one of those things. "It is nothing major, but we wouldn't want to rush him. "He will probably have a break now and have the summer off. He is too nice to go and wreck him, so you are best to err on the side of caution." Unbeaten chaser Notlongtillmay could still provide the yard with a presence at the meeting. The Alan Rogers-owned gelding has won all three starts over fences including two impressive victories at Musselburgh on his last two starts. Morgan is still pondering options for the seven-year-old, who is a general 33-1 chance for the Grade One Turners Novices' Chase and 16-1 for the Grand Annual. Morgan added: "Notlongtillmay might possibly run in the Grand Annual, but there wouldn't be much else. Loughderg Rocco's injury is a bit of a gutter, but it is what it is." Meanwhile, Percussion, who has twice been placed over the unique Grand National fences, is being primed for another trip to Aintree. Third in the respective Grand Sefton and Becher Chases in November and December, Percussion was then fifth to Annsam in a three-mile Kempton handicap. Morgan hopes the Evan-Robert Hanbury-owned eight-year-old can lift his official rating next time, with a return to the Liverpool track in mind. "We are hoping that Percussion is placed or might win one, so his mark will go up slightly and then he might go for the Topham," she added. "The owners are quite keen to go to Aintree. He should be out in the next two weeks."
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