15.20: More Of That can rule the World
The World Hurdle is being billed as a showdown between Big Buck’s and Annie Power, but More Of That looks a major player and value to beat them both.
Jonjo O’Neill’s six-year-old is a really exciting prospect who is unbeaten in four starts over hurdles.
He won a handicap at Wetherby on his first start this season and went on to follow-up in impressive fashion in a very strong 2m 4f handicap at Haydock.
The gelding then took the step up in class in his stride last time out in the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle at this track when beating Salubrious decisively by 2 1/4 lengths.
He travelled ominously well throughout that contest, and despite making a mistake two out, challenged on the bridle at the last before asserting on the run-in to score with far more in hand than the winning margin suggests.
That win earned him an official rating of 160, and that means he is rated 3lb higher than At Fishers Cross, just 5lb lower than Annie Power and 10lb inferior to Big Buck’s.
Given his progressive profile, More Of That doesn’t give him much to find with the supposed big players and with Barry Geraghty in the saddle, a huge run looks on the cards.
Big Buck’s is considered to be the greatest staying hurdler of all time and is bidding to win the race for a record fifth time.
Paul Nicholls’ 11-year-old notched four consecutive victories in the 3m feature from 2009-2012, but was ruled out of last year’s contest due to a tendon injury.
He has won 23 of his 39 starts under rules, and prior to getting beat on his comeback run last time out, had built up an 18-race unbeaten sequence over hurdles.
His run in the Cleeve Hurdle at this track back in January when finishing third to Knockara Beau was his first for 420 days and he ran a blinder to be beaten just 3/4 of a length.
It was an effort which suggested that he retained all his old ability, and his handler is confident he will be back to his best for this.
The Irish will not hear of defeat for Annie Power, who is unbeaten in 10 starts and gets a 7lb mares’ allowance.
She won her first two bumper starts in 2012 when trained by Jim Bolger, and after joining Willie Mullins, won a Listowel bumper and four starts over hurdles last season, including a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse.