‘I’d like to think in terms of Gold Cup with More Of That’
More Of That: is a best-priced 33-1 for the Timico Gold Cup
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) O'Neill looking at Gold Cup with More Of That By Andrew King 11:45AM 8 NOV 2016
JONJO O'NEILL hailed More Of That "the best horse I've ever trained" and outlined his big ambitions for the second-season chaser, kicking off with the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The only horse to have beaten Annie Power when she has remained standing, in the 2014 World Hurdle, More Of That has not been sighted since breaking a blood vessel as beaten favourite in the RSA Chase in March.
But O'Neill is convinced he is Gold Cup class and is hoping the ground conditions at Cheltenham are favourable enough for the eight-year-old to make his long-awaited return.
O'Neill also confirmed that Taquin Du Seuil, who made an eyecatching reappearance over hurdles last month, would also be in the line-up for the Grade 3 showpiece with Aidan Coleman again likely to take the ride.
The Jackdaws Castle trainer has not saddled a Grade 1 winner for two and a half years but hopes More Of That can end that drought this season.
"He's in great shape and we've been delighted with his build-up and I think he's the best horse I've ever trained," O'Neill said. "It was disappointing that he could not run at Carlisle the other day but the ground up there was just a bit too fast.
"We have left him in the race and we are desperate to run, but it will all depend on the ground with the final decision being left to owner JP McManus, his racing manager Frank Berry and Sir Anthony McCoy later in the week when we know a bit more.
"Although More Of That has had his well-documented problems he's very good and is a horse with plenty of pace. Hopefully we will see that come Saturday."
THREE OF JONJO'S BEST
Sir Robert Ogden's chaser had the misfortune of competing in the same era as Kauto Star. In fact he and Kauto met nine times and Exotic Dancer never beat him, finishing second to the great horse in the Gold Cup, King George and Betfair Chase. Exotic Dancer also won the BetVictor Gold Cup and landed the Lexus Chase by 20 lengths.
A three-time festival winner with wins in the RSA and two Ryanairs. Albertas Run was top class, especially at two and a half miles and, of his nine chase victories, seven were at Grade 2 level or higher.
Gave O'Neill perhaps his finest moment as a trainer when winning the Gold Cup in 2012. That victory culminated two years of massive improvement, as the plodder who ground out victory in the 2010 Midlands National went on to be the top staying chaser in the land.
When asked what the long-term target for the World Hurdle winner might be, O'Neill added: "I'd like to think in terms of the Gold Cup next March but there must be a little question mark in him seeing out the extended three miles and two furlongs as, apart from the World Hurdle, most of his wins have come at around two and a half miles."
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