Ladbrokes World Hurdle
3m, Class 1
|Thursday 13th March 2014|
1 More Of That 15/2
2 Annie Power 11/8F
3 At Fishers Cross 9/1
NR: Mala Beach (IRE), Quevega (FR)
10 ran Distances: 1½l, 5l, 2l
TIME 5m 49.50s (slow by 8.50s)
More of That wins the 2014 World Hurdle! Annie Power in second, huge upset!
Paul Nicholls announces that 4 times winner of the World Hurdle, Big Buck's, has been retired. Happy retirement to a true racing legend.
The unbeaten More Of That caused a minor turn-up when seeing off the outstanding mare Annie Power, the 11/8 favourite, to win the Ladbrokes World Hurdle. Four-time winner Big Buck's finished fifth.
The winner, who was sent off at 15/2, was having his first start since scoring at Cheltenham in December.
Trainer Jonjo O'Neill said: "We were very pleased with the horse and he was in great old form. He was just coming along nicely. We didn't run him in the heavy ground and I think that suited him because he is still a big frame of a horse who is coming to himself.
"Adele rides him out everyday and she kept telling me how well he was. It all came together nicely, so it's brilliant.
"He doesn't show a lot at home - he is a real placid horse and he goes about his business and never does anything flash. I have never really worked him hard at home and he does his winning that way.
"Once he is healthy in himself, he shows us that he is a proper horse. I thought after Haydock, when he made that mistake and got back into the race in a decent handicap, that he would stay three miles but you never know until they run. I was quietly confident.
"Jumping the last, I thought he would keep galloping. I had a little doubt in my mind that Annie Power might not quite get home but she gave us a fair fright. It's nice that there was no pressure on us today.
"It was A P's decision. He believed in his horse (At Fishers Cross) and I believed in mine. Barry (Geraghty) wasn't too bad, was he! A P was adamant that he wanted to stay on At Fishers Cross which I'd have done because he was proven over the trip and they'd got him jumping much better.
"Barry got him into a lovely rhythm and the horse jumped brilliantly today. He was pleased with the horse everywhere he went. Barry won this race for me 10 years ago with Iris's Gift so it's nice to team up again.
"I thought he would stay but you never know until you try. He's got up that hill before and he's bred to stay although he is a full-brother to Eastlake, who is a two-miler.
"After he won in December, the ground got very bad everywhere so we'd thought we'd miss the bad weather and wait for this - there's only one Cheltenham.
"If I can keep him safe and sound then there are loads of options for him. He's a lovely big horse who could go chasing."
Owner J P McManus added: "A P had a lot of faith in At Fishers Cross - the horse had never let him down . He thought a lot of More Of That but he thought another year wouldn't do him any harm. Jonjo was surprised that he didn't pick him but somebody was going to be disappointed and it is Barry's day.
"Long may it last. It's nice to have horses that are good enough to run in these big races."
Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Grade 1)
£275,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m, Class 1
Going: Good, Good to Soft in Places
||More Of That
|B J Geraghty
|15 - 2
W P Mullins
|11 - 8
1 1/2 length
||At Fishers Cross
Miss R Curtis
|A P McCoy
|9 - 1
P F Nicholls
|14 - 1
P F Nicholls
|7 - 2
||Rule The World
M F Morris
|B T O'Connell
|14 - 1
|25 - 1
||Reve De Sivola
|33 - 1
P F Nicholls
|25 - 1
P F Nicholls
|D A Jacob
|20 - 1
|R C Colgan
W P Mullins
MORE OF THAT WINNING FEELING FOR GERAGHTY
Barry Geraghty's memorable Cheltenham Festival, 2014, got even better today when he landed his second championship race of the meeting, and his third overall.
Having won the Stan James Champion Hurdle on Jezki, he rode the Jonjo O'Neill-trained More Of That to victory in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle - both horses are owned by J P McManus and could have been ridden by champion jockey A P McCoy, but he rejected the pair in favour of other horses in the same ownership. In today's race McCoy rode At Fishers Cross who finished third, five lengths behind the runner-up Annie Power.
This was the second time Geraghty and O'Neill had teamed up to win racing's most famous staying hurdle. Ten years ago they took the prize with Iris's Gift.
After More Of That, a 15/2 shot, had won by one and a half lengths, Geraghty said: "A P (McCoy) was the first man up to congratulate me. There is no ill feeling with him and he is a true professional. He's a good horse.
"I was always happy with my fellow, and while I could see Ruby [Walsh] coming on the favourite [Annie Power] I was always confident my fellow could find more. When I gave him a squeeze he had more in reserve.
"It's only his fifth run and to have jumped and travelled the way he did was remarkable. He was a bit innocent when hit the front - he was a little unsure - but he kept going. He stayed really well."
ANNIE POWERLESS TO STOP WINNER
The 11/8 favourite, Annie Power, couldn't quite get her head in front as More Of That ran out the one and a half length winner this afternoon.
The six-year-old mare jumped the last alongside the eventual winner and they had quite a duel up the run-in but it was Jonjo O'Neill's gelding that forged to the lead in the last 50 yards and trainer Willie Mullins could offer no excuses in defeat.
"I think that she ran to her mark and we were beaten by a better horse," said Mullins.
"We were in a good position at all stages and I don't have any excuses. She jumped very well - I can't say that she made a mistake, got penned in or anything like that. It was a good horse race.
"We will look at everything for her. We have been at every trip this year and we will see how she comes out of that and see what race to go for. She might go to Liverpool or I would say Punchestown at this stage. That would have been a hugely hard race and time wise, Punchestown would be a bit better."
Last year's Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle winner At Fishers Cross was a further five lengths back in third and trainer Rebecca Curtis was delighted with her seven-year-old.
"I'm delighted with him - he's run a blinder," said Curtis.
"He's travelled really well and jumped brilliantly but you've got to get up the hill. He's stayed on but not quite had the speed of the other two after the last.
"He was travelling so well turning for home that for a moment, I'd thought he'd win but they are three good horses.
"I'm delighted for J P (McManus, owner of More Of That and At Fishers Cross) as he has been a great supporter of ours."
BIG BUCK'S RETIRED AFTER FINISHING FIFTH
Trainer Paul Nicholls announced Big Buck's, the record four-time winner of the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, has been retired after finishing fifth in this year's renewal.
The 11-year-old did a couple of circuits of the parade ring after the race to give the huge crowd a chance to say their goodbyes to the marvellous horse which they did with enthusiasm.
Nicholls said: "This horse has been a legend and we don't want him to get hurt or something like that so we are going to end on a good note. We are mightily proud of him. He has run a good race today but just has not had the legs of old. We had to try it but you have got to be sensible and draw stumps at the right time. We are not going to ask him to do any more. He will have an honourable retirement. So it is a sad day. All the days he won were great, while his fourth World Hurdle was amazing. He is an amazing horse to have been involved in. Andy (Stewart - the owner) is such a sporting guy and it is the right decision at the right time. Rose (Loxton - who looks after Big Buck's) will probably end up keeping him and looking after him for Andy. He will be well looked after. He deserves to retire. Big Buck's has been a pleasure to train. We don't want to ask him to run again."
Andy Stewart commented: "Big Buck's has been one of, if not the greatest, modern-day staying hurdler. Now is the time for him to enjoy his retirement. The highlight would be his first Ladbrokes World Hurdle. I looked up Francois Doumen's horse - Kasbah Bliss - and rang Paul (Nicholls) up and said we are never going to beat that and Paul said Big Buck's will be all right and he won. He beat all-comers for the next three renewals of the World Hurdle as well. He is 11 years old now and he is now a retired 11-year-old. The public reaction has been very flattering. I received 22 Christmas cards, while Big Buck's received 174 - a reflection of why the horse is a lot more important than I am. We are going to buy a Polo factory to make sure he can have as many as he likes. We have had some fun with him, he is a lovely horse who I love to death and my grandson is here today dressed up in the Big Buck's colours - he is only nine weeks old. He is important and Big Buck's is important."
Sam Twiston-Davies, who rode Big Buck's on the horse's final two starts, said: "He's an amazing horse and it is a dream for me to have ridden him. As far as the race wasconcerned everything went as I would have liked, I was in the right place at the right time but obviously he is 11 now. Just when we turned in, he didn't have the legs. We hadn't gone mad early and we picked up nicely but there were young legs against us. Mr Nicholls was happy when we came back - as happy as you can be with an 11-year-old coming back after a long absence. He is back safely and in one piece and that is the main thing. I am as happy as I have ever been finishing fifth."
Ruby Walsh believes he will probably never partner a better staying hurdler than Big Buck's.
Walsh rode Big Buck's to each of his four World Hurdle titles when stable jockey to Nicholls and he hailed the veteran as a "brilliant" horse.
He told Racing UK: "I had great days with him here, at Aintree and at other places. He was a brilliant horse. It's just like everything, age catches up with everyone. I suppose having a year off at 10 years old makes it even more difficult.
"He pulled up 100 per cent, tried his best as he always does and he'll have a good retirement.
"I doubt (I will ride a better staying hurdler). He was a very good horse, he wasn't the greatest jumper in the world and that probably stopped him from being a Gold Cup horse but he was a brilliant staying hurdler."
LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE PAST RESULTS
2013-WINNER-SOLWHIT 9-11-10 Owner-Top Of The Hill Syndicate; Trainer-Charles Byrnes IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-17/2
2ND-Celestial Halo 9-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP-40/1
3RD-Smad Place 6-11-10 Owner-Mrs Peter Andrews Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Wayne Hutchinson; SP-9/1
13 ran, Time-6m 24.94s; Dist-2½, 3 9/4 Fav Oscar Whisky (PU)
2012-WINNER-BIG BUCK’S 9-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP- 5/6F
2ND-Voler La Vedette 8-11-03 Owner-Mrs M Brophy; Trainer-Colm Murphy IRE; Jockey-Andrew Lynch; SP-20/1
3RD-Smad Place 5-11-10 Owner-Mrs Peter Andrews; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-20/1
11 ran, Time-5m 44.20s; Dist-1¾, 7
2011-WINNER-BIG BUCK’S 8-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP- 10/11F
2ND-Grands Crus 6-11-10 Owner-Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds III; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Tom Scudamore; SP-7/2 3RD-Mourad 6-11-10 Owner Teahon Consulting Limited; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-8/1
13 ran, Time-5m 50.80s; Dist-13⁄4, 23⁄4
2010-WINNER-BIG BUCK’S 7-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nichols; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-5/6 Fav
2ND-Time For Rupert 6-11-10 Owner-Littlecote Racing Partnership; Trainer-Paul Webber; Jockey-Will Kennedy; SP-16/1
3RD-Powerstation 10-11-10 Owner-Fat Frog Syndicate; Trainer-Eamon O’Connell IRE; Jockey-Andrew McNamara; SP-33/1
14 ran, Time-5m 49.40s; Dist-3.25, 11
2009-WINNER-BIG BUCK’S 6-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-6/1
2ND-Punchestowns 6-11-10 Owner-Judy Wilson; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-100/30
3RD-Powerstation 9-11-10 Owner-Fat Frog Syndicate; Trainer-Eamon O’Connell IRE; Jockey-Andrew McNamara; SP-25/1
14 ran, Time 5m 57.00s; Dist 1.75, 17 10/11 Fav Kasbah Bliss (4th)
2008-WINNER-INGLIS DREVER 9-11-10 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Denis O’Regan; SP-11/8 Fav
2ND-Kasbah Bliss 6-11-10 Owner-Henri De Pracomtal; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Christophe Pieux; SP-9/1
3RD-Kazal 7-11-10 Owner- Joseph Comerford; Trainer-Eoin Griffin IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-12/1
17 ran, Time-5m 52.90s; Dist-1, 7
2007-WINNER-INGLIS DREVER 8-11-10 Owner-Andrea & Graham
Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-5/1
2ND-Mighty Man 7-11-10 Owner-Joss Hanbury; Trainer-Henry Daly; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-100/30
3RD-Blazing Bailey 5-11-10 Owner-Three Line Whip; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-8/1
14 ran, Time-5m 46.50s; Dist-3/4, 4 2/1 Fav Black Jack Ketchum (Fell)
2006-WINNER-MY WAY DE SOLZEN 6-11-10 Owner-B Winfield,
A Longman, J Wright & C Fenton; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert
2ND-Golden Cross 7-11-10 Owner-P Johnson; Trainer-Michael Halford IRE; Jockey-Johnny Murtagh; SP-5/1
3RD-Mighty Man 6-11-10 Owner-Joss Hanbury; Trainer-Henry Daly; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-4/1 Fav
20 ran, Time-5m 38.40s; Dist-hd, 4
2005-WINNER-INGLIS DREVER 6-11-10 Owner-Andrea & Graham
Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-5/1
2ND-Baracouda 10-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-6/5 Fav
3RD-Rule Supreme 9-11-10 Owner-John Fallon; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-David Casey; SP-4/1
12 ran, Time-5m 48.40s; Dist-3, 3/4