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Cheltenham preview: Raymond Mould Memorial Novices’ Chase (12.40)

David Metcalf | December 11, 2015

More Of That can confirm his position as a leading contender for the 2016 RSA chase with victory in the Raymond Mould Memorial Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham (12.40).

The Jonjo O’Neill trained gelding progressed at a rate of knots in 2013/14 when unbeaten in four starts, winning a handicap on debut off a mark of 130 before going on to capture the Grade 1 World Hurdle at the Festival.

More Of That put an end to Annie Power’s unbeaten run in the latter, travelling well throughout before staying on strongly after the last to win going away by 1 1/2 lengths.

It was a performance marked More Of That out as something very special, but he had just one run last season when suffering a shock defeat when a well beaten third in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury and was subsequently on the sidelines for 349 days.

Punters would like some More Of That

Cheltenham festival Thursday

However, O’Neill and owner JP McManus always believed his future lied over fences and More Of That looked as good as ever when making a winning debut over the larger obstacles over course and distance last month.

After being held-up in touch under a confident Barry Geraghty, More Of That made smooth headway three from home and after being produced to challenge at the last forged clear on the run-in to easily beat As De Mee by 2 1/12 lengths.

The son of Beneficial jumped well and economically throughout, and it was a most taking display which showed that the huge engine remained intact.

More Of That is currently Coral’s 6/1 second-favourite for the 2016 RSA Chase on the back of that success, and it will be a major disappointment is he is unable to give 3lb and a beating two his two rivals.

Padge could be worth a punt

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Should he fail to live up to expectations, I think Padge rather than Sametegal will be the one to take advantage.

The Evan Williams trained gelding has always been held in the highest regard, and scored in good style on chasing debut when landing a novices’ handicap at Ascot by 3/4 of a length.

Padge idled and wandered on the run-in to score with more inn hand than the winning margin of 3/4 of a length suggests, and looks the type who should be up to winning some decent races.

The six-year-old also remains open to stacks of improvement after just six starts under rules, but it is going to take a monster performance from Padge to lower the colours of More Of That who was rated 31lb higher than him over hurdles.

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Keep an eye on our Cheltenham coverage for more race previews and tips.

Coral’s top tip: More Of That looks a cut above his rivals and, granted a clear round, is a rock-solid favourite to land the spoils before going on to much better things.