The New One lays down impressive marker

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. In the 2014 Cheltenham betting for The Champion Hurdle, The New One was trimmed into 9/2 from 7/1 after the kempton Success.

So impressive in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March before being narrowly denied by Zarkandar at Aintree, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained The New One was the 1/2 favourite for his seasonal comeback.

Punters were proved spot-on in their opinion as 1-2 favourite beat the 2012 Champion Hurdle winner Rock On Ruby, showing again an impressive turn of foot to pull clear from his more experienced rival in the straight to win by 10 lengths.

Obviously the winning connections were thrilled with this result. The New One's best form had all been over a longer distance last season, so there had to be a question mark over whether the Neptune winner would be up to taking on speedier horses dropping back in distance.

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."

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February 2018
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