National bid unlikely for Murphy's Roque

Updated: Tuesday, 19 Mar 2013 15:03

Quito De La Roque is "highly unlikely" to line up in the John Smith's Grand National next month, according to his trainer Colm Murphy.

A winner on the Mildmay course at Aintree in 2011 and a dual Grade One-winning chaser, the nine-year-old endured a slightly disappointing start to the current campaign before bouncing back with victory in the Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles in mid-January.

He is a best price 50-1 for the National on 6 April, but with Albertas Run ruled out and Imperial Commander not yet a certain runner, there is a chance Quito De La Roque would end up with the burden of top-weight, which does not appeal to his trainer.

Murphy said: "I wouldn't like to say he definitely won't run, as things can change, but it's highly unlikely he'll run in the National.

"The weights are going to go up and he's going to end up with nearly top-weight, so he'll probably run in the (Betfred) Bowl on the Thursday of Aintree instead.

"It's a case of so far so good with him. We were happy with him the last day and he has been good since.

"He won on good ground at Aintree a couple of years ago, but he copes with softer ground better than a lot of horses."