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O'Neill enjoys Cheltenham Festival cheer with three winners
12:57pm Tuesday 18th March 2014 in Sport
TEMPLE Guiting trainer Jonjo O'Neill maintained his magnetic grip on Cheltenham Festival races with three winners.
After Holywell's early Baylis and Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase victory, the Cotswold handler swooped for a double success on the third day.
Unbeaten six-year-old More Of That (15-2), in only the fifth start of his career, and jockey Barry Geraghty landed the Ladbrokes World Hurdle by halting the well-supported 11-8 favourite Annie Power by a length-and-a-half.
O'Neill also claimed the JLT Novices' Chase with Taquin Du Seuil, who is rated at 25-1 by Paddy Power for next year's Gold Cup.
He admitted after the hurdle win: "It doesn't get much better than this. Barry gave him a super ride. If I can keep him safe and sound, then there are loads of options for him. He's a lovely, big horse who could go chasing."
Seven-year-old Taquin Du Seuil was among the leading contenders for the chase at 7-1 and won by three-quarters-of-a-length under Tony McCoy.
O'Neill continued: "We think he's a good horse, he jumped well and got the race run to suit him. You don't know until you run them over it, but if he does get the (Gold Cup) trip he's a proper horse."
However, the O'Neill-trained 10-year-old Get Me Out Of Here (12-1) was second for the fourth time at Cheltenham in a thrilling Coral Cup race, going down to Whisper (14-1) by a short head.
Irishman Willie Mullins clinched the leading trainer award at the Festival with four wins.
Cheltenham specialist The Giant Bolster (14-1) ran another honourable race to take third spot in the Gold Cup, beaten by just three-quarters of a length.
Stow-on-the-Wold trainer David Bridgwater's nine-year-old has now been placed in the last three big Festival races but is unlikely to run again this season.
Bridgwater said: "We were the top English horse, which I thought might be the case, and the only one to represent Gloucestershire, so it was another brilliant day. For the horse to be placed in three Gold Cups is now pretty phenomenal."
Balthazar King defied top weight with a short-head victory over Any Currency, trained by Martin Keighley in Condicote, in the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase.
Keighley said: "I'm gutted. He really deserved to win something like that."
The New One, trained by Naunton's Nigel Twiston-Davies, remains firmly on target for a second tilt at the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle next month following his luckless run at the Cheltenham Festival when he finished third in the Champion Hurdle.
The six-year-old is set to be a hot favourite on April 3.
Double Ross put in a superb effort to finish a close third in Cheltenham's JLT Novices' Chase and will also be part of the Aintree team.
Same Difference is bound for the Crabbie's Grand National after finishing fifth in his Kim Muir title defence at Cheltenham.