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McCoy keeps faith with At Fishers Cross

Tony McCoy has decided to partner At Fishers Cross over the unexposed and highly progressive More Of That in the World Hurdle.

The decision has surprised many, but Rebecca Curtis’ gelding has proven winning form at the Festival having triumphed in the Albert Bartlett last season and has also contested the two key trials for the staying contest.

Seven of the last 13 winners or runners-up in the World Hurdle had prepared in the Cleeve Hurdle, and 10 of the last 20 winners had run in the Long Walk Hurdle in the same season.

At Fishers Cross unseated at the last in the Long Walk when looking booked for second behind Reve De Sivola, and then came right back to form last time out in the Cleeve when beaten just a short-head by Knockara Beau.

Four-time World Hurdle winner Big Buck’s finished 3/4 of a length behind him in third place in the latter, and McCoy believes that At Fishers Cross is entitled to improve on that effort.

Speaking in his column in the Telegraph, he said: “Having, hopefully, chosen right by going for My Tent Or Yours in the Champion Hurdle, the next big decision was whether I ride At Fishers Cross or More of That in the World Hurdle and I can reveal that I am siding with At Fishers Cross.

“He won last year’s Albert Bartlett so we know he acts on the track and, having appeared to have lost the plot before Christmas, especially with his jumping, he was getting somewhere back towards his best in the Cleeve Hurdle when he was just touched off by Knockara Beau.

“He did beat Big Buck’s however and, although I know Big Buck’s will come on a huge amount and is still the one to beat, At Fishers Cross will also come on too – it was as good as damn it his first race of the season.”

At Fishers Cross has been trimmed a point to 5/1 by Coral following McCoy’s decision, but it could not have been an easy one for the 18-time champion given the progressive profile of Jonjo O’Neill’s More Of That.

The six-year-old, who is also owned by McCoy’s retaining owner JP McManus, stretched his unbeaten record to four when taking the step up into Grade 2 company in his stride last time out in the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham.

He travelled supremely well throughout the contest, and after a slight mistake two from home, challenged on the bridle at the last before being coaxed clear on the run-in to beat Salubrious with far more in hand than the winning margin of 2 1/4 lengths suggests.

That win marked him out as a potential staying star and earned him an official rating of 160.

Given it was just his fourth run under rules that is some achievement, especially as the far more experienced At Fishers Cross is rated the same and has some top class form in the book.

Richie McClernon will now partner More Of That, and he is 7/1 with Coral for the World Hurdle.