The New One will be sent over fences this season
PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
By Lewis Porteous 2:10PM 4 OCT 2016
NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES on Tuesday revealed an exciting plan to run Champion Hurdle regular The New One over fences, with the dual Grade 1-winning hurdler reportedly showing zest in his schooling sessions at home.
Fourth to Annie Power in his third consecutive Champion Hurdle in March, The New One had been expected to stick to what he knows best this season but the eight-year-old has convinced connections to try something new and his 26th career start is set to be his first over fences.
“We’re actually going to run him in a novice chase,” said Twiston-Davies. “I don’t know where yet but I’m keen on it.
“We didn’t think we were going to go over fences but we thought we’d try him and his schooling has been brilliant. As soon as the ground is right and we find the right race he’s ready to go.”
Fifth to Faugheen in the Champion in 2015 and third to Jezki the previous year, The New One does boast a Cheltenham Festival win to his name having landed the 2013 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, while his other Grade 1 success came in the Aintree Hurdle the following year.
The eight-year-old was introduced to the Arkle betting at 25-1 with BetVictor and Coral and 20-1 for the JLT with SkyBet and BetVictor.
World Hurdle plan for Ballyoptic
His fellow Aintree Grade 1-winning stablemate Ballyoptic is bang on target to make his seasonal reappearance in Saturday’s Grade 3 totepool Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle at Chepstow, when he steps out on a path signposted to Cheltenham in March and the World Hurdle.
Having bypassed the festival last season, Ballyoptic ended his campaign with a battling victory over Bellshill in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at the Grand National meeting and Twiston-Davies is hoping the six-year-old can take high rank in the staying hurdle division this season.
“As long as we have ground on the soft side of good we’ll have a go,” said his trainer. “He’s looking really well and is raring to go. I’m not going mad about it and it’s a bit of a prep run for the West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby.
“We always thought we’d go the staying hurdle route this year and the World Hurdle is the dream.”
Angel and Blaklion also ready
Flying Angel is another Twiston-Davies inmate earmarked for Chepstow on Saturday, with the Imperial Cup winner bidding to make it two-from-two over fences in the 2m3½f novice chase on the card, having made short work of five rivals on his debut over fences at Perth last month.
“Subject to the ground being fine he’ll go there and then some of those good novice chases at Cheltenham might be the plan,” said the trainer, who also revealed RSA Chase winner Blaklion to be on target for bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on October 29 and JLT Novices’ Chase runner-up Bristol De Mai set for an intermediate chase at Carlisle the following afternoon.