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New One in Cheltenham frame

By Martin Kelly

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies labelled The New One "exceptional" after the youngster laid down an early marker for next year's Cheltenham Champion Hurdle with a truly stunning seasonal return at Kempton.

So impressive in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March before being narrowly denied by Zarkandar at Aintree, the five-year-old was a 1-2 favourite as he came back two miles for yesterday's Listed event.

He faced a formidable opponent in Rock On Ruby, winner of the Champion Hurdle in 2012 and runner-up to Hurricane Fly in the same race last term, but made Harry Fry's stable star look decidedly ordinary with a blistering turn of foot.

Noel Fehily and Rock On Ruby led Sam Twiston-Davies aboard The New One as they straightened up for home, but the latter display incredible acceleration to leave a proven top-level performer trailing in his wake.

The New One pulled clear between the final two flights and skipped over the last.

Twiston-Davies was then able to look behind him and pat his horse down the neck as his mount cruised to a 10-length success.

Nigel Twiston-Davies said: "That's what we were hoping for.

"We were worried about the fact that he'd not had much hurdling experience, but that was great and he jumped so well.

"He showed an amazing set of gears coming into the straight.

"We'll look at the Bula Hurdle (International Hurdle) at Cheltenham and then possibly come back here for the Christmas Hurdle. There's definitely more to come – he'll improve on that.

"He does seem exceptional."

Meanwhile, yesterday's meeting at Bath was abandoned because of "localised flooding", said a course official. Drainage issues in the weighing room led to the Flat fixture being called off after four races. A tweet posted by Bath racecourse read: "Abandoned meeting due to localised flooding in the weighing room area."

Belfast Telegraph


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