The New One: set for a fourth shot at the Champion Hurdle
PICTURE:John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
By Jon Lees 12:20pM 2 MAR 2017
NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES believes The New One can finally etch his name on to the Stan James Champion Hurdle roll of honour as the veteran prepares for his fourth shot at the race.
The nine-year-old has been beaten only once this season, when Yanworth had his measure in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, while he enjoyed victories in both the International Hurdle at Cheltenham and most recently the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock.
The Champion Hurdle is lacking a number of major names, with the two most recent winners Annie Power and Faugheen among those ruled out and Twiston-Davies is optimistic The New One can take advantage.
“The New One will go for the Champion Hurdle,” said Twiston-Davies on Thursday, with the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle having also been an option.
He added: “It’s not as hot as it has been. we haven’t got a Faugheen in there this year. If you look at the ratings he should be right there. Cheltenham brings out the best in him.”
Looking for revenge
Twiston-Davies has also finalised plans for novice Ballandy, who will be taking his place in the opening Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle rather than the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle.
The six-year-old was an impressive winner of the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last month but has twice been defeated by Moon Racer this season, a rival he is likely to face again at the festival.
“We have decided to go for the Supreme with Ballyandy,” Twiston-Davies confirmed. “He quickened away nicely in the Betfair and we are looking forward to taking our revenge on Moon Racer!”