The New One Leaves Twiston-Davies With Cheltenham Options
January 25 - The New One picked up his third Champion Hurdle Trial success at Haydock on Saturday, where he battled to victory ahead of Clyne who was a length back when crossing the line at the Lancashire track.
Nigel Twiston-Davies' runner has entries in the Champion Hurdle, JLT Novices' Chase and Stayers' Hurdle at the Festival and connections have different views on what race they feel their horse should run in at the Festival. His trainer is keen on another shot at the 2m contest on day one of the meeting, while his jockey Sam Twiston-Davies felt he would be more suited to stepping up to 3m.
After winning the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle in 2013, The New One was expected to have a big future in the 2m division. He could only finish third in the 2014 Champion Hurdle behind Jezki and My Tent or Yours respectively. In 2015 he was fifth in the race which was won by Faugheen, while he came home fourth in the 2016 running where Annie Power justified favouritism to prevail for Irish trainer Willie Mullins.
It's been a good season for The New One so far with two victories from his three outings. He made his seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham in the Grade Two International Hurdle in December where he made all under Champion Jockey Richard Johnson to get the better of My Tent or Yours by over three lengths.
The New One stepped up in class on Boxing Day at Kempton to take on fellow Champion Hurdle hopeful Yanworth. He was unable to match the younger horse's pace inside the final furlong that day.
In what his now his sixth season in the UK, The New One's victory at Haydock was his 18th win of his career under rules. He has only once failed to finish a race and that came in the Aintree Hurdle last season where he came down at the fifth fence where he made a rare mistake in Merseyside.
The New One may have been underestimated at 16/1 in the horse racing betting and tips from leading pundits in the sport for this year's Champion Hurdle. It is unclear at this stage if Mullins' duo of Faugheen and Annie Power will line up in the 2m race at the Festival as neither of them have had a run so far this season. If he is to win his first Champion Hurdle, Twiston-Davies' horse will have to reverse the form with Yanworth though, while there is also competition from Petit Mouchoir who won the Grade One Ryanair Hurdle over Christmas at Leopardstown.
In the betting for the Stayers' Hurdle over 3m, The New One is a little bit shorter at 12/1. The nine-year-old has never raced over that trip before, therefore connections would be taking his stamina on trust. If he does go for the feature race on day three of the meeting, he would be taking on Unowhatimeanharry who is the 9/4 favourite after dominating the division so far this season.
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