jonjo o’NEILL hopes More Of That can prove his Cheltenham Gold Cup credentials at the Cotswolds track today.
The one horse with untapped potential that gave jockey Sir AP McCoy sleepless nights before the 20-times champion jockey retired in April last year, the eight-year-old heads the market for an eagerly-awaited renewal of the BetVictor Gold Cup – a historic two-and-a-half mile handicap.
If the horse can carry 11st 9lb to victory, the task facing jockey Barry Geragthy’s mount, More Of That will be a genuine contender for jump racing’s blue riband contest in March next year.
O’Neill has already described More Of That as the best horse that he has trained, high praise from a turf legend who rode Alverton and Dawn Run to Gold Cup glory before saddling the McCoy-inspired Synchronised to a famous victory in 2012.
More Of That’s talent is undeniable as he showed when defeating Annie Power in the World Hurdle at the 2014 Festival.
However, he has been restricted to just a handful of starts since then. His last three outings have been over fences and at Cheltenham. Successful in the first two, he disappointed when only third to Blaklion in the RSA Chase, but was found to have broken a blood vessel.
“Our horses have been running a little bit below par, but he seems in good form and if he performs the same way he is at home, I’d be very happy,” said O’Neill.
“AP rode him last Monday morning and said he would come back for this fellow. That’s the sort of feeling he gives you at home.
“He’s a very genuine horse and he’s just a pleasure to be around. He’s one of those horses we all love in the yard.
“I think he’s the best horse I’ve ever trained, but unfortunately he’s got a few problems, as we all know. I definitely think he is a Gold Cup horse, (but) in the back of my mind, I have a little doubt about him getting the trip in the Gold Cup, as he has a lot of pace.”
O’Neill is also happy with his other runner, Taquin Du Seuil, following a seasonal debut at Chepstow, though he would have preferred softer ground.