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Long Distance Hurdle - 29th November, 2014

Jonjo O'Neill's More Of That will make his eagerly-anticipated return to the racecourse on Saturday afternoon and the Ladbrokes World Hurdle hero is set to go off a red-hot favourite for the Grade 1 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, as he looks to continue his meteoric rise up the National Hunt ratings.

Producing a mind-blowing staying display when seeing off Irish wonder mare Annie Power at the Cheltenham Festival in March, the six-year-old is already a prominent figure for the staying hurdle crown next spring and he will look to ignite what could be a sublime campaign over timber with victory in this race on Hennessy Gold Cup day.

Cole Harden and At Fishers Cross locked horns in the bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby at the start of November and it was the former who prevailed for Warren Greatrex and is another that is gradually working his way up the staying ladder and will be a leading danger.

Lac Fontana was unable to land a significant blow on Faugheen in the Coral Hurdle last weekend and Paul Nicholls has handed the County Hurdle winner an entry in this race, whilst the likes of Medinas, Peckhamecho and Shotgun Paddy are also entered for this race that could be dominated by the red-hot favourite.

Latest Betting for 2014 Long Distance Hurdle

2/5 More Of That

9/2 Cole Harden

12/1 Lac Fontana

12/1 Medinas

16/1 Peckhamecho

20/1 Shotgun Paddy

66/1 American Spin

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Long Distance Hurdle History

The Long Distance Hurdle is a Grade One race run at Newbury over three miles and 110 yards for horses aged four years or older and is widely regarded as a trial for the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Established in 1990, the Long Distance Hurdle is one of the highlights of the national hunt season for staying hurdlers and is an integral part of Newbury's major raceday that also includes the Hennessy Gold Cup.

From its inception it has attracted some strong contenders, but since the turn of the century the race has ignited and has seen some of the best hurdlers in living memory win this contest with Baracouda starting off the top class list when winning the 2003 Long Distance Hurdle.

Francois Doumen's stable star had already won two World Hurdle crowns at the Cheltenham Festival before enhancing his reputation by bagging back-to-back successes in the 2003 and 2004 renewals of this top class contest.

It wouldn't be long before another superstar would storm into the limelight and Howard Johnson's Inglis Drever eclipsed Baracouda's record by winning a triumvirate of Long Distance Hurdle titles in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and used the race as a springboard to Cheltenham Festival glory where he bagged a trio of World Hurdle wins in 2005, 2007 and 2008.

When you thought there may be a lull in class taking part in this contest along came Big Buck's who has since become one of the best national hunt horses in recent memory.

Paul Nicholls phenomenon has dominated the staying hurdle ranks for years and breezed to Long Distance Hurdle success in 2009 and 2010 as well as notching up three World Hurdle crowns in 2009, 2010 and 2011, but also a brace of Long Walk Hurdle wins and three Liverpool Hurdle successes at the Aintree Grand National meeting.

So, recent records show that the Long Distance Hurdle is an integral part of trainers' preparations for the Cheltenham Festival as they look to gain Grade One glory before tackling the best at Prestbury Park.

Recent Winners of Long Distance Hurdle

  • 2000 - Deano's Beeno
  • 2001 - Historic
  • 2002 - Bacchanal
  • 2003 - Baracouda
  • 2004 - Baracouda
  • 2005 - Inglis Drever
  • 2006 - Inglis Drever
  • 2007 - Inglis Drever
  • 2008 - Duc de Regniere
  • 2009 - Big Buck's
  • 2010 - Big Buck's
  • 2011 - Big Buck's
  • 2012 - Big Buck's
  • 2013 - Celestial Halo

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