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More Of That goes for Long Distance
28 Nov 2014 16:04
Jonjo O'Neill's unbeaten More Of That will face six rivals as he makes his eagerly anticipated return to action in the bet365 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.
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Having started last season at a lowly level, he progressed through the ranks to win the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
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He was overlooked at Cheltenham by Tony McCoy in favour of At Fishers Cross, but that is unlikely to be the case ever again.
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Indeed, McCoy took longer to return from his recent injury than would normally be the case specifically so that he would not miss the ride on More Of That at the Berkshire circuit.
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With the decision made earlier in the season to keep him over hurdles, he is undoubtedly the star attraction in the Grade Two.
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McCoy said: "He was obviously a very smart horse last season.
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"He's very well. I rode him at Chepstow (in a racecourse gallop) and just gave him a canter round.
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"He's also been to Newbury a couple of weeks ago, so, all being well, we're very much looking forward to him."
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His sternest test is likely to come from Warren Greatrex's Cole Harden, who had At Fishers Cross a long way back in third in the West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby.
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The second that day, the Alan King-trained Medinas, also lines up.
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Paul Nicholls is represented by Lac Fontana, no match for Faugheen last week, while Emma Lavelle runs Shotgun Paddy en route to the Welsh National.
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American Spin and Peckhamecho complete the field.
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Greatrex has been thrilled with Cole Harden since his Wetherby win but is aware this represents a sterner test.
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"He's in great form," said the red-hot handler.
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"I think he's improved since Wetherby, his work certainly has.
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"He won't mind the ground or the track or the trip.
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"I'm aware he has to step up, but he's an improving horse."
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King is stuck between a rock and a hard place with the diminutive Medinas.
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The Barbury Castle handler told www.alankingracing.co,uk: "Medinas made a pleasing comeback to finish second in the Grade Two at Wetherby, and, though he faces a stiff task against More of That, he is not that big so these conditions races are preferable to humping huge weights in handicaps."
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