Gordon Elliott aiming to answer call for No More Heroes in RSA Chase

Gordon Elliott is convinced size is not everything ahead of No More Heroes’ big day in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham today.
Gordon Elliott aiming to answer call for No More Heroes in RSA Chase

The seven-year-old is hardly the most imposing of animals, yet his form since turning to chasing has been immaculate.

No More Heroes is three from three over fences, but faces his sternest test by quite some distance.

Elliott said: “He’s not the biggest horse in the world, but he’s big enough.

“Sometimes those bigger horses are harder to keep sound - he’s just the perfect size.

“I thought he was very good schooling at Leopardstown the other day.

“He jumped a bit big over the first couple and that is why we wanted to get him out because he has not run since Christmas.

“He went around there with a Gold Cup horse and the highest-rated chaser in training (Don Cossack). I think he would have learnt more there than he did in his novice chases.

“He’s a stayer, but he’s not slow, either. Jumping is his game and I think Cheltenham will suit.”

Regular jockey Bryan Cooper similarly feels No More Heroes’ jumping prowess should stand him in particularly good stead at the Festival.

He said: “Jumping seems to be his forte and he’s always looking for the next fence.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do over here, but he’s going to have to be on his A-game now because it’ll be no walk in the park for him.”

Standing in No More Heroes’ way is More Of That, who is unbeaten in four starts at Cheltenham and has a victory over Annie Power in the 2014 World Hurdle on his CV.

Trainer Jonjo O’Neill said: “He’s a better horse on better ground, we know that.

“He is a lovely, sensible horse that is very straightforward and I am lucky to have him. If he turns up there the same way he did for the World Hurdle he will take some beating.

“He’s my best chance of the Festival, without a doubt.”

Seeyouatmidnight’s impressive run of form for unheralded trainer Sandy Thomson has captured the imagination this winter.

His critics will point to a fondness for plenty of cut in the ground - something that looks highly unlikely - but Thomson does not see the possibility of a faster surface as being a big issue.

The Berwickshire handler said: “He’s very good and we are really pleased with how it’s all gone over the last few days.

“All the main players are there, but he’s had a very good preparation and if we’re not good enough, we’re not good enough.

“There is no doubt he deserves to be there, though, and hopefully they will have to get past him up that hill, not that he will necessarily lead. People are perhaps making too much of the ground but I think he’ll be fine on it. It will be testing enough, I think, and will probably walk better than it rides.

“He’s been a brilliant horse and I’m so happy for everyone connected with the horse.

“It’s obviously a tough race, but he’s got a chance.”

Blaklion finished second behind Seeyouatmidnight at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, but the former was giving away 3lb and has since bolted up at Wetherby.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “Hopefully we have a chance of turning that form around.

“We were only beaten three lengths over a trip that was probably too short so that was a really good run.

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