Cheltenham Festival News
|Thursday 13th February 2014|
O’Neill Confirms More of That World Hurdle Bid
With the mighty Big Buck’s having returned with a rock solid effort at Cheltenham in January the stage looks set for a thrilling renewal of the Grade 1 Ladbrokes World Hurdle and an attempt by the old stager to win the big race for the fifth time. He might have plenty on his plate though if the rapid progression through the ranks of Jonjo O’Neill’s More of That continues.
The gelded son of Beneficial made his debut last season, racing only once when winning a maiden hurdle at the now defunct Folkestone having been ignored in the racing betting and sent off at 20/1 under Richie McLernon.
Punters paid a little more attention when he reappeared a year later at Wetherby in November, sending him off the 3/1 favourite under AP McCoy after strong support in the racing live betting in the minutes before the off. Running in a handicap for the first time off a mark of 130, he stayed on well to beat Twelve Roses. Three weeks later, off a 7lb higher mark, he landed his hattrick at Haydock over two-and-a-half miles.
Stepped up into Grade 2 company at Cheltenham in December for the Relkeel Hurdle, McCoy’s mount oozed class as he comfortably accounted for Salubrious by two-and-a-half lengths. Still an unknown quantity, the JP McManus-owned rising star should stay the extra distance of the World Hurdle and is as short as 5/1 in the ante-post racing betting with some firms to remain unbeaten.