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Cheltenham

  • 15:20 Ladbrokes World Hurdle 3m

  • (Grade 1) £275,000 added 4yo+ 10 ran
  • Winner £156,612 2nd £58,768 3rd £29,425 4th £14,658
  • Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 49.50s
  • Off time: 15:20:14

Cheltenham Festival: More Of That beats Annie Power to win Ladbrokes World Hurdle

Last Updated: 13/03/14 5:02pm

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More Of That stormed to victory in the World Hurdle

More Of That stormed to victory in the World Hurdle

More Of That (15/2) stayed on too strongly for favourite Annie Power (11/8)to triumph in a thrilling running of the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham under Barry Geraghty.

But the great Big Buck's, who was bidding for a fifth victory in this race, was only fifth on this occasion and will now be retired.

Reve De Sivola set the pace in the 3m championship event for staying hurdlers and Big Buck's raced in mid-division, while Ruby Walsh bided his time on Annie Power towards the back of the field.

The complexion of the race changed two from home when strong travellers At Fishers Cross (9/1) and Rule The World hit the front, and Big Buck's began to struggle.

At Fishers Cross saw off his first challenger but the unbeaten duo More Of That and Annie Power loomed up approaching the last and took charge at that flight.

And, while Annie Power kept on very gamely up the run-in, the Jonjo O'Neill-trained More Of That refused to be denied and pulled away close home to score by a length and a half.

At Fishers Cross finished five lengths further back in third, with Zarkandar running a sound run in fourth.

And, having missed the race last year through injury, Big Buck's plugged on in the closing stages to come home an honourable fifth in what has turned out to be his last ever race.

Wrong call from McCoy

The result was a painful one for Tony McCoy, who had the choice of the two JP McManus-owned runners and opted for At Fishers Cross, meaning that, as in the Champion Hurdle, Geraghty triumphed on a horse rejected by the champion jockey.

"AP was the first to congratulate me," said Geraghty. "There are no hard feelings, he's a true professional.

"He's a good horse and I was always happy. Ruby (Walsh, on Annie Power) was upsides me in the straight and he looked to be travelling.

"When he gave her a squeeze, the response was OK, but I thought I had enough in reserve.

"It's only his fifth run and he jumped and travelled away. He was a bit innocent when he got to the front, a bit unsure, but he kept going."

Winning trainer Jonjo O'Neill added: "He's still a big frame of a horse really and coming to himself. It all came together nicely, it's brilliant.

"He doesn't show you much at home. He's just a real class horse and goes about his business, never does anything flash."

Owner McManus has now won the Champion Hurdle and World Hurdle this week and said: "Someone was going to be disappointed and it was Barry's day.

"It's nice to have horses that are good enough to run in these big races, and having Barry and AP on my side is great. Jonjo is a star man."

Annie just out-stayed

Annie Power's jockey Ruby Walsh said: "She was keen early and I didn't get her 100 per cent switched off.

"I probably got in a battle too early and picked the wrong McManus horse to follow.

"The winner found plenty. She stayed all right but he stayed better. I wouldn't mind riding the race again and challenging after the last, rather than at the furlong pole.

"She jumped like a buck and she'll benefit greatly from a race like that, she's still a very good mare."

Her trainer Willie Mullins said: "I imagine she ran up to her mark, we were just beaten by a better horse on the day.

"We'll see if she'll run again (this season). There's Aintree or Punchestown, which I would say might be favourite, but that was an extremely hard race and she might need a rest."

Rebecca Curtis said of third-placed At Fishers Cross: "He ran a brilliant race. I thought he was going to win coming down to the last couple of flights.

"I'm delighted that JP has won anyway."

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