Cheltenham Festival 2014: More Of That wins World Hurdle, with Big Bucks retired after defeat

Trainer Paul Nicholls revealed Big Bucks would be retired straight after the race

More Of That outstayed Annie Power up the famous Cheltenham hill to claim the Ladbrokes World Hurdle with Big Bucks back in fifth and subsequently retired.

Tony McCoy appeared to have dealt a hammer blow to More Of That's chances a couple of weeks ago by choosing to ride At Fishers Cross, who eventually finished third, and the winner's participation was only confirmed at declaration time.

Punters were not deterred, however, and he was sent off the 15-2 third-favourite in the hands of Barry Geraghty, who for the second time this week benefited from McCoy making the wrong choice.

Plenty still held chances at the bottom of the hill, but it was left to the two unbeaten young guns to fight it out, with More Of That, having just the fifth run of his life, powering to glory.

Trainer Paul Nicholls immediately announced the retirement of 11-year-old Big Buck's, the four-time winner of the race who only returned from injury in January.

Nicholls said: "He's going to have an honourable retirement, it's a sad to day but it's good to end in one piece."

 

Geraghty said of More Of That: "It's great. AP was the first to congratulate me, there's no hard feelings - he's a true professional.

"He's a good horse. I was always happy. Ruby (Walsh, on Annie Power) was upsides me in the straight and he looked to be travelling and when he gave her a squeeze, the response was OK but I thought I had enough in reserve.

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

Delighted McManus 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."

O'Neill said: "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."

Big Bucks was taken straight to the stables following the race, but after his retirement was confirmed, the ever-popular runner returned to the paddock to say farewell with one last walk around the ring.

Nicholls said: "Andy (Stewart, owner) and I have been talking about it and I couldn't improve him any more on what he's done today. We won't ask him to run again as he's been a wonderful horse and wonderful for racing."

Stewart said: "The great horse is not as great as he was when a nine-year-old.

"He had 420 days off (before returning in the Cleeve Hurdle) and he's obviously not sparkling any more. At Fishers Cross beat him in the Cleeve and has done so again and I think he is finding the years getting to him.

"We have done as much as we possibly can and there's no way we can improve on that - what you saw today is as good as he is but he owes us nothing.

"He's going back to Ditcheat where all my other retired horses are, and he'll be with Cenkos.

"It's been very flattering the way the public have taken to him.

"He's probably one of the greatest, if not the greatest, staying hurdler of all-time, and it's time to enjoy his retirement.

"He's been great for the public, great for racing and I love him to death."

Ruby Walsh said of Annie Power: "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."

Rebecca Curtis said of 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."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer (C#, ASP.NET Developer, SQL, MVC, WPF, Real-Time F

£40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...

C# Swift Payment Developer (C#, ASP.NET, .NET, MVC, Authorize.N

£45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...

Front-End Developer (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, C#, GUI)

£55000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End Deve...

Graduate C# Developer (.NET, WPF, SQL, Agile, C++) - London

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Graduate C# De...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?