Cheltenham Festival: The New One wins Novices' Hurdle as Rich Ricci misses out with Pont Alexandre finishing third

The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained five-year-old benefited from a fine ride from the Naunton handler's son, Sam

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies banished fraught memories of a difficult few weeks as The New One claimed the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Naunton team have had a bad preparation for this year's showpiece meeting following the withdrawal of Gold Cup candidate Imperial Commander due to a lung infection.

Twiston-Davies was also forced to scratch three other Festival hopefuls due to an outbreak of a bug as his yard.

The New One, however, could not have looked in ruder health as he clinically despatched of a strong field by upwards of four lengths.

The five-year-old (7-2) benefited from a fine ride from the trainer's son, Sam, to defeat Irish raider Rule The World in some style.

Pont Alexandre, the 6-4 favourite from Willie Mullins' stable and owned by Rich Ricci, was always to the fore under Ruby Walsh but finished third.

In a race devoid of any serious pace, Pont Alexandre and Ubak jousted for the lead up until the penultimate flight, when the latter was worried out of it.

Mullins' inmate remained in a strong position, with Taquin Du Seuil and Rule The World firmly in contention.

Sam Twiston-Davies had all bases covered, though, and scampered along the outside of the field as The New One secured his third victory from four starts this season.

The heavily-backed Pont Alexandre finished another four and a half lengths adrift of the accomplished scorer.

The winning rider said: "This is him in his full glory.

"He jumped brilliant and travelled away great.

"You won't get a much better feeling than that.

"It was absolute class. I had a bit of trouble in running coming down the hill.

"I'd like to think he'd be really, really good.

"This race looked very competitive and considering we got a few knocks down the hill he has really picked up."

Twiston-Davies snr said: "It's wonderful and when it's all in the family it makes it even better.

"He's real class horse. What beat him last time was the heavy ground.

"It was purely the ground that beat him last time.

"They went no gallop today, and this lad has enormous class.

"His turn of foot is extraordinary.

"Rock On Ruby went from this race to the Champion Hurdle and it's definitely possible he's a Champion Hurdle horse.

"We'll certainly run again this season - he's the most relaxed horse - and Aintree is a definite possibility."

A slightly deflated Mouse Morris, who was saddling his second runner-up of the first two days, said of Rule The World: "He ran a cracker, but he was beaten by a better horse on the day and there are no excuses.

"You might see him in Punchestown, but he is a big frame of a horse who will be better next year."

Mullins said of Pont Alexandre, whose two wins in Ireland had come on heavy ground: "Ruby said he wasn't travelling from a long way out - maybe soft ground is the key.

"He'll probably go to Punchestown.

"It's just the ground, but I am just disappointed."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Ashdown Group: Linux Administrator - London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower