The New One puts in a slick jump for Sam Twiston-Davies at Haydock
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Report: Haydock, Saturday
Betfair Price Rush Hurdle 2m, 4yo+
THE NEW ONE remained unchanged for the Stan James Champion Hurdle at a general 7-2 despite registering an ultimately decisive victory in the hands of Sam Twiston-Davies.
The six-year-old, who made a successful return to action at Kempton last month, took up the running over the final flight under a confident ride from Twiston-Davies, whose mount responded willingly to his jockey’s urgings deep inside the final furlong.
The New One, who finished an arguably unlucky third in last season’s Champion Hurdle, will next head to the Stan James International Hurdle, a race he won last year.
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “It’s really hard when he’s 1-3 favourite and it is more of a relief rather than ‘blimey we’ve won’. His jumping was superb and I think we’ve got everything right now and it’s Cheltenham next [for the International]. I’m very excited – bring on the others!
“He could possibly go to Kempton [for the Christmas Hurdle] if he was as easy a winner as that at Cheltenham, but he’s a class act and we don’t want to knacker him out by being too greedy.”
The New One was settled in second throughout the race, a place behind Zamdy Man but in advance of Melodic Rendezvous who, according to the betting, had been expected to provide the favourite with most to think about.
But Zamdy Man set out to make it a thorough test and he still held sway until over the final flight, at which point The New One kicked in the turbo and surged to the front, much to the delight of his jockey.
The winning rider said: “It was very good. Obviously with a horse with as much speed as him he would ideally want better ground. His jumping was very good and when I needed him to pick up he did very well.
“There aren’t many horses I get more scared of riding but when you’re out there there aren’t many horses I get a better kick out of. On better ground the world is his oyster.”
Zamdy Man’s gallant display thrilled rider Liam Treadwell, who said connections could now look to go up in trip.
Treadwell said: “You have got to be delighted. I went a nice end-to-end gallop, he jumped slickly and he was just done for a turn of foot. It’s up to Venetia [Williams] and the owners, but possibly a step up in trip has to be a consideration.”
Melodic Rendezvous, having his first start of the season, failed to land a blow with the testing conditions seemingly against him. He could finish only third.
Trainer Jeremy Scott said: “I think the ground turned against us. I know everybody says it is soft but I walked it and to me most of that Flat course was good to soft.
“We weren’t good enough at Cheltenham and we weren’t good enough today. I don’t think the ground was dramatically different so I had no expectation we would beat The New One and I think Zamdy Man is very good, but we have shown that on that ground we are below the top level.”
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