More Of That wins World Hurdle

• Barry Geraghty's ride outstays Annie Power in closing stages
• Paul Nicholls declares brilliant stayer has run his last race

More Of That stunned the crowd here with an impressive success in the World Hurdle, with Big Buck's a well-beaten fifth in what was immediately announced to be his final race. For the second time at this Festival, Tony McCoy could have been aboard the big-race winner but chose to ride another horse instead.

Big Buck's was applauded all around the paddock before the race, the knowledgeable crowd appreciating his return from the tendon injury that kept him on the sidelines through last year. But he was struggling from the top of the hill on the final circuit and it was quickly apparent that he could take no part in the finish.

Turning for home, McCoy still had a chance on At Fisher's Cross, carrying the first colours of his owner, JP McManus. More Of That, in the second colours, raced on the other side of Annie Power and there was a throaty roar from the crowd as the Irish mare, sent off favourite, appeared to shoulder More Of That to one side.

But from that point to the line, it was More Of That who kept on dourly while Annie Power paid the price for racing keenly through the early stages. More Of That won by a length and a half from Annie Power, with At Fishers Cross five lengths further back.

The winning jockey, for the third time this week, was Barry Geraghty. He had also inherited Tuesday's Champion Hurdle-winning ride on Jezki, rejected by McCoy in favour of the runner-up, My Tent Or Yours.

Jonjo O'Neill, trainer of More Of That, was also in the winner's enclosure for the third time this week. "I hope it never stops," he said.

Asked about McCoy's desertion, he said: "That was AP's decision. He believed in his horse and I believed in mine.

"He's still a big frame of a horse, really, coming to himself. It all came together nicely. He doesn't show you that at home, he's just a real placid horse, goes about his business, never does anything flash."

O'Neill made no mention of the late scare for More Of That backers, when his participation was thrown into doubt on Monday afternoon. Frank Berry, spokesman for McManus, said then that he "isn't a definite runner" and added that a decision would be taken the following day. No elaboration has so far been offered on whatever it was that had connections worried about him. © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

About the Author

Comments are closed.