Cheltenham Betting Preview: The New One's Chasing Career On Hold

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A maximum field of ten will go to post for the stanjames.com International Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday afternoon following Monday’s declaration stage for the Grade 2 Champion Hurdle trial. Known to many as the Bula Hurdle, in honour of the dual Champion Hurdle winner of the 1970’s, the two mile one furlong contest was won by the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained The New One in 2013/ 2014 and the son of King’s Theatre will attempt to join Birds Nest and Relkeel who each won the race on three occasions, although the horse’s entry may come as a surprise to many who anticipated the eight-year-old embarking on a chasing career this season.

A best price 4-1 with Bet365, Boylesports, Stan James and William Hill in the ante-post market for Saturday, The New One was on course to make his debut over fences at Exeter last Friday until that meeting was frozen off, forcing his handler to put in place plan B for his stable star. Connections may use the hurdle race as a warm-up for a chasing career unless the gelding was to prove successful, of which Twiston-Davies said: ”The original plan was to run at Exeter but disappointingly that was off so we had to look at other options. It makes sense to run him in the International as he’s won it twice and it’s worth £130,000. There aren’t any novice chases around with that sort of money and we hope we can get some of it. The plan after Saturday remains to put him over fences, but if he were to win with his head in his chest then we may have a rethink.”

This year’s Champion Hurdle runner-up My Tent Or Yours heads the ante-post market on Saturday’s race at a best price 2-1 with Coral despite finishing a disappointing third of four behind Ch’Tibello on his reappearance at Haydock last month. The heavy ground was put forward for the tame effort on that occasion, but with the ground at Prestbury Park likely to ride good at the weekend there will be no excuse for a similar performance this time. Mister Miyagi, Yanworth and Ivan Grozny are other fancied contenders expected to take their chance in the race. Grab a free bet ahead of Saturday’s action and be sure to check with Freebets.com again for racing tips.