More Of That is leaning towards RSA Chase race, admits O’Neill

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JONJO O’Neill has stated the RSA Chase is looking the most likely Cheltenham Festival target for More Of That.

The JP McManus-owned eight-year-old also holds entries in the JLT Novices’ Chase and the Ryanair World Hurdle, a race he won in 2014, but connections are “leaning towards” the three-mile Grade One on March 16.

More Of That has been restricted to just two starts over fences this term, both at Cheltenham, but he has impressed each time to maintain his unbeaten record at Prestbury Park. “More Of That is in good form at home. I am delighted and thrilled to bits with him,” said O’Neill, who reflects on Dawn Run’s nerve-tingling Gold Cup win of 1986 in The Yorkshire Post on Monday.

“We are leaning towards the RSA, although he is also in the JLT and World Hurdle. We are looking at going that way.

“We will see what’s what, but in every conversation we’ve had I imagine that is the way he is going.

“He is a lovely, sensible horse that is very straightforward and I am lucky to have him.

“If he turns up there the same way he did for the World Hurdle he will take some beating.”

Philip Hobbs is no nearer deciding on a Festival destination for exciting novice chaser Garde La Victoire and said it is a call that “will go down to the wire”.

The Diana and Grahame Whately-owned Garde La Victoire is in the Arkle – Douvan is the hot favourite – and the two-and-a-half mile JLT Chase.

Hobbs reiterated: “If it’s soft it will be the Arkle, but if not (then) to a case of seeing how both races shape up. It will be a last-minute call.”

Balthazar King is confirmed as on target for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, having made a full recovery from serious injuries sustained in last year’s Grand National. Hobbs said: “He’s in very good order. Ideally we want good ground and definitely not soft.”

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