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.”

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
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: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable