Saturday Haydock Review: The New One Battles To Fourth Consecutive Champion Hurdle Trial Victory

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An unlucky third place behind Jezki and My Tent Or Yours in the 2014 Champion Hurdle is the nearest the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained The New One has come to lifting the hurdling crown in four attempts but that has not stopped the gelding being regarded as something of a legend at Grange Hill Farm. The much-loved son of King’s Theatre was trying to win Haydock’s Unibet Champion Hurdle Trial for a fourth time on Saturday afternoon and duly did so, but not without showing the battling qualities the ten-year-old has become famous for in repelling the persistent challenge of main market rival Ch’Tibello in the two mile contest.

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The mount of Sam Twiston-Davies broke through the £1 million prize-money mark when runner-up to Buveur D’Air in the Christmas Hurdle last month and added another £42,712 to that total at the Lancashire venue, of which his doting rider said: “ He got through the £1 million barrier last time and has nearly paid my mortgage – I’ll have to rename my house after him. “

A fifth Champion Hurdle attempt is unlikely according to his trainer with the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle the preferred option unless “ the wheels fall off all the other wagons “ as Twiston-Davies put it about  his “ horse of a lifetime.” Bookmaker reaction after Saturday’s win was to cut The New One into 14-1 ( William Hill and Boylesports ) for the 3m stamina test while 20-1 is available for the Champion Hurdle with Betfred with the non-runner-no-bet proviso.

The most impressive performance on Haydock’s seven-race card was that of the Kim Bailey-trained First Flow who came home by ten lengths from a decent field of novices in the Grade 2 Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle. A trip to the festival is most unlikely for the ground-dependant six-year-old however with assistant trainer Mat Nicholls saying: “ Basically this was the plan and it could be it for the season for him, we’ll see. Some people say horses will be better on good ground but he won’t be running on it.” A trip to Leopardstown for the Dublin Festival next month may well be worth considering for this talented son of Primary with ground conditions almost certain to suit.

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