The New One is threat for Champion Hurdle

 

Racing Correspondent

As fascinating as the emergence of fresh equine talent to watch is the blossoming of one of the human elements of the centaur partnership, and yesterday’s programme at Cheltenham presented both.

The New One consolidated his position as favourite to deprive reigning king, Hurricane Fly, of a third Champion Hurdle back at the course in March and his rider, Sam Twiston-Davies, once again demonstrated that he will surely one day wear a crown of his own.

There will, of course, only ever be one Tony McCoy, and while he is fit, healthy and willing no one will deprive him of anything. But at 21 Twiston-Davies is the right age and has the right aptitudes and attitude to in due course inherit his title. The modest young man has all the obvious skills that make him both a horseman and a jockey – he is quiet and balanced in the saddle with an understanding of race- manship that is expanding with every ride – and with them perhaps an echo of the 18-times champion’s sometimes frustrated self-analysis.

The New One took the StanJames.com International Hurdle by six lengths from proven high-class yardstick Zarkandar, winner of the Grade Two contest last season and fourth in the Champion itself. But Twiston-Davies considered that the five-year-old, whose bunny-hop over the last obstacle gave his supporters a moment of anxiety, won despite, rather than because of, his tactics.

“I’m really annoyed with myself,” he said. “Beforehand I had said that the one thing I wouldn’t do was hit the front before the last, and that’s exactly what I did. He didn’t have a lead and it was more a case of trying to get from A to B over it rather than trying to see a stride, but we got the result. But thank goodness the horse is very good and has so much boot. And when I gave him a kick in the belly off he went. We got the result and other than the last I was pleased with the way he jumped.”

Zarkandar, who had last season beaten The New One – then a novice – at Aintree, had made much of the running until his rival, the 2-5 favourite, cruised past him. He had been involved in a scrimmage with the 100-1 outsider Jumps Road going to the final obstacle and had rallied bravely to close on the idling leader after it, but his rider, Daryl Jacob, put it all in perspective. “The barging incident did put him off his stride,” he said, “but with regard to the winner, there is no way I’d have got to him anyway.”

The New One, an Irish-bred son of King’s Theatre, may put his rising senior status to further test sooner rather than later, against another of the upwardly mobile younger brigade, My Tent Or Yours, in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton in 12 days’ time. “There are not that many races for him before Cheltenham and I’d like to get at least one more run into him before Cheltenham,” his trainer, Sam’s father, Nigel, said.

“It didn’t seem he had that hard a race here and he’ll tell us if he’s ready to go again or not. I loved the way he quickened away when the other horse got to him again, that was real Champion Hurdle-type acceleration. A lot of the interest in him has been hype, but I think he’s proved today what he is.”

Rather grimly, The New One surged to his authoritative victory past the other side of the sport’s coin, high green screens shielding the stricken French challenger Seabreeze d’Ho, who had fallen and sustained what proved to be fatal injuries in front of the grandstands on the first circuit.

Though Twiston-Davies Jnr rides mostly for T-D Snr, this season his talents have caught eyes away from home and his employers’ portfolio is expanding. But yesterday was a father-and-son afternoon, with The New One’s performance completing a feature-race double instigated by 7-1 shot Double Ross in the Grade Three handicap chase.

It was Twiston-Davies Snr’s 18th attempt to capture his local track’s valuable December prize and owes much to his offspring’s stickability as he and Double Ross, who held Cantlow at bay by two lengths, with the 9-2 favourite Colour Squadron third, disagreed about the take-off point four fences from home.

“He’s a very good jumper,” the rider said, “and his mistake was totally my fault and he was good to stay on his feet for me. I thought he was long, but he knew best.”

Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
filmDheepan, film review
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
News
Tattoo enthusiast Cammy Stewart poses for a portrait during the Great British Tattoo Show
In picturesThe Great British Tattoo Show
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?