Wednesday 18 January 2017

More Of That to face 18 rivals in cracking Gold Cup contest

Johnny Ward

Published 11/11/2016 | 02:30

Barry Geraghty on More of That wins from Ruby Walsh on Annie Power in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle race at Cheltenham in 2014
Barry Geraghty on More of That wins from Ruby Walsh on Annie Power in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle race at Cheltenham in 2014

More Of That, the only horse to beat Annie Power when she stayed on her feet, heads a list of 19 declared for a cracking BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham tomorrow.

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Described by Jonjo O'Neill as the best horse he has trained, JP McManus' 2014 World Hurdle hero is favourite in an entirely British-trained field. The rain that fell Tuesday and Wednesday was key to his participation.

Exciting four-year-old Frodon, which will be partnered by Harry Cobden, could be the main danger.

His trainer Paul Nicholls also has Art Mauresque, As De Mee and Bouvreuil in the race. Stable rider Sam Twiston-Davies failed to be passed fit for the meet.

The race sponsor goes 4/1 More Of That and 5/1 Frodon, with Double Shuffle, Taquin De Seuil and As De Mee the others available at single-figure prices.

A decision on whether or not brilliant Supreme Novice Hurdle winner Altior makes his chase debut on Sunday will be made late. Entered in Cheltenham's Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase, trainer Nicky Henderson said he "schooled brilliantly" yesterday.

He will not be clashing with the Henry de Bromhead-trained Identity Thief, which will go to Punchestown next week instead, in all probability.

Coneygree is being aimed at the Betfair Chase and a possible £1m bonus. Last year's Gold Cup winner will run in the first leg of Jockey Club Racecourses' Chase Triple Crown a week on Saturday.

The winner is eligible for the bonus if following up in the 32Red King George VI Chase and Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Meanwhile, Chris Hayes, who will become Fozzy Stack's stable jockey next season, has said he will be totally loyal to both Stack and long-time ally Kevin Prendergast. "I'm really looking forward to it," Hayes said.

"It's really exciting to get an opportunity to ride for a an operation like the Stacks' and it still allows me to stay riding for the boss so hopefully it's going to be a perfect balance."

Fascinating Rock, retired by Dermot Weld recently, will stand at Ballylinch Stud. A winner of eight starts, he will stand at a fee of €10,000.

Irish Independent

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