With this year’s Aintree hero Rule The World now retired, Ampleforth-educated Morris hopes Rogue Angel can win the world’s greatest steeplechase next year.
The chain-smoking County Tipperary trainer, who dedicated April’s emotional victory to the memory of his late son ‘Tiffer’, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning during a holiday to Argentina, will know more this Saturday when the Gigginstown House Stud-owned horse lines up in the Betfred Becher Chase over the iconic Aintree fences.
“Rogue Angel would be a real National horse – we have won it once and everything else would be a bonus,” said the trainer.
“He will run in the Becher on Saturday, everything being equal. If they are down at the start, they all have a chance.
“Rogue Angel had a slight wind problem and just wasn’t getting home so he had a small operation and that seems to have made a difference. We will see how he gets on at Aintree on Saturday.
“He will probably have another run and then we would plan to keep him fresh for the Grand National. I would love to win another Grand National.”
Rogue Angel’s rivals will include Cumbria trainer Jimmy Moffatt’s 2015 Becher hero Highland Lodge, who will be ridden by Middleham jockey Henry Brooke.
Less than two months after the 26-year-old was left in intensive care following a fall at Hexham, Brooke makes an amazing comeback at Catterick today where he is due to have one ride.
Today also marks the long-awaited comeback of Brooke’s weighing room rival Sam Twiston-Davies, who is eager to make up for lost time following a spleen injury incurred on the same weekend that the Yorkshire rider suffered a collapsed lung and nine fractured ribs.
Stable jockey to champion trainer Paul Nicholls, Twiston-Davies is due to ride Southport for his father Nigel in the meeting at Ffos Las.
“It’s been one of those things, it’s part of a jockey’s life. It’s been a learning curve. I just want to move on and get back to where we were,” he said.
Meanwhile, Arkle Trophy winner Douvan is odds-on favourite after Willie Mullins’s star headlined eight possibles for the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday.
Mullins, Ireland’s champion trainer, could also saddle Un De Sceaux, while both Ar Mad and former Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Sire De Grugy are on course to represent in-form Sussex trainer Gary Moore.
Moore’s son and stable jockey, Jamie, reports the ever-popular Sire De Grugy to be ticking over since his heartwarming Ascot victory at 10 days ago.
“He hasn’t done much since Ascot, just one canter a day,” he said.
The jump jockey’s peerless brother Ryan has been crowned the world’s best Flat jockey for the second time following another stellar year riding for Ballydoyle maestro Aidan O’Brien. Frankie Dettori, Andrea Atzeni and William Buick were fifth, eighth and 10th respectively.