Case of quality over quantity in Colin Parker Memorial

More Of That

More Of That: was a top-class hurdler at this best

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

 By Stuart Riley 7:55PM 29 OCT 2016 

THERE may be only three runners in Carlisle’s Colin Parker Memorial but they are three good ones.

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Good enough that it is a surprise only one trainer said “he could finish last and still run a hell of a race”, because it is a sentiment that could apply to More Of That or Bristol De Mai, and not just Seeyouatmidnight.

Saphir Du Rheu won this last year, as a 1-5 shot, but this year’s renewal is eminently more competitive. Jonjo O’Neill, who started Holywell in this race after his 2014 Cheltenham and Aintree festival successes, saddles More Of That – the only horse to have beaten Champion Hurdle heroine Annie Power when she has completed.

He registered that notable achievement in the 2014 World Hurdle and has since won two novice chases before bleeding from both nostrils when third in the RSA Chase.

He has an entry in the BetVictor Gold Cup, for which he is 10-1, and O’Neill said: “There are just three runners but it’s a great race. At this level there are no easy options but I wish the other two weren’t running! He’s in grand form and I’m hoping he’ll run well. This will tell us where we go next.”

Ready to roll

Nigel Twiston-Davies’s dual Grade 1 winner Bristol De Mai is a 14-1 shot for that same Cheltenham race – in which he would currently meet More Of That on 4lb better terms, racing off level weights, although both can be reassessed after this.

Bristol De Mai found only Black Hercules too good in the JLT Novices’ Chase and Twiston-Davies said: “It’s a lovely race and he’s a very keen sort so I think he’ll be pretty fit. It’s a mouthwatering race but I hope we have the better horse.”

Hot race

Like More Of That, Seeyouatmidnight was behind Saturday’s Charlie Hall runner Blaklion in the RSA and, while he subsequently stepped up to four miles for the Scottish National, he actually got the better of Blaklion in the Grade 2 Dipper at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day – which he won by three and a quarter lengths in receipt of 3lb – over just a furlong further than the Colin Parker trip.

“We need to start somewhere but it’s a hot race, he could finish last and still run a hell of a race,” was trainer Sandy Thomson’s assessment. 

“He’s dropping back in trip against a two-and-a-half-miler and the other’s a high-class horse; he proved that when winning a World Hurdle.

“He’s a lot more forward than this time last year. He’s in the Hennessy and he’ll probably run that weekend, either there or at Newcastle.”

Thomson added: “The Grand National is not something we’re thinking of this season. He’ll get an entry and if he ends up there then fine, but I very much hope he’ll be up to running in a Grade 1 when we get soft ground.”

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