Quito De La Roque - Thurles 17/01/2013

Quito De La Roque is 66-1 for the Gold Cup and 50-1 for the National

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)  

Quito camp pondering Gold Cup and National

AFTER his emphatic victory in the Grade 2 Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles last month trainer Colm Murphy has revealed that stable star Quito De La Roque is under consideration for the Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

Despite owner Gigginstown House Stud already possessing a strong hand with second favourite Sir Des Champs and 12-1 shot First Lieutenant, both previous festival winners, 66-1 shot Quito De La Roque could also line up for the 3m2½f Grade 1.

Speaking in the Racing and Football Outlook, which comes out on Tuesday, Murphy said: "He won the Kinloch Brae in great style and has put himself back in the Gold Cup picture."

However Quito De La Roque has only ever left Ireland twice, both times bound for Aintree, where he won the Grade 2 Mildmay Novices' Chase at the National meeting in 2011.

He could instead return to Liverpool where Magnanimity, at 40-1, is the only Gigginstown runner at a shorter price than the 50-1 available for Quito De La Roque in the National.

"At this moment I don't know if his next race will be the Gold Cup or the Grand National, for which he has got a very workable 11st 5lb," Murphy added. "I will discuss this with his owners before any decisions are made, but he appears to be every bit as good as ever."

To read Colm Murphy's thoughts on his string heading into the spring festivals, make sure you buy your copy of the Racing and Football Outlook - out on Tuesday.

As sporting sights go, few match the sheer excitement of 40 horses thundering towards the first fence at Aintree for the John Smith's Grand National.

A race steeped in history that always provides a story, the Grand National is the ultimate test of endurance and skill for both horse and jockey, as the pairing must navigate 30 treacherous fences, and then still have enough stamina to make a challenge on the run-in.

To manage a clear round in the 4m4f epic is no mean achievement, with the fences notoriously difficult and offering unique challenges.

Over the years, there have been countless memorable moments, Devon Loch's phantom leap in the 1956 contest, Foinavon's shock 100-1 win in 1967 and the brilliance of Red Rum, who took the chase on three occasions in 1973, 74 and 77.

In 1981 Aldaniti and Bob Champion completed a heartwarming tale when winning the race, as Aldaniti had recovered from a career-threatening injury while jockey Champion had battled back from cancer.

In 2011 the race provided another fairytale story as Donald McCain emulated his father and Aintree legend Ginger when winning with Ballabriggs - and that came just a year after champion jockey Tony McCoy finally gained victory in the race at the 15th time of asking.