The New One Targets More Cheltenham Success
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies is targeting more Grade Two glory with The New One after his impressive performance at The Showcase on October 19. The local handler is eyeing the £25,000 Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle on Sunday, November 18, the third and final day of The Open at Cheltenham.
The New One landed the Grade Two John Smith’s Champion Bumper at Aintree in April and returned this season with a 26-length demolition of his rivals on his hurdling debut at Newton Abbot on October 1.
On his latest start the four-year-old justified favouritism with a taking display in the opening race of The Showcase, the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, scoring by two and three-quarter lengths from the highly-regarded Village Vic, with a further 21 lengths back to the third.
Twiston-Davies said: “The Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle is certainly a race we are looking at for The New One. He has come out of his race on Friday brilliantly - he is very laid back and you wouldn’t know he’s had a race.
“I thought his performance at Cheltenham was very good. He was on the bridle coming to the last and just had to be shaken up on the run in and he went away well.
“He has all the right attributes and he travels well. His jumping wasn’t too bad as he was quite quick over his hurdles. He wasn’t spectacular, which we would like, but it was a very good performance overall.
“I think the form is very solid as the first two were miles clear of the rest.
“I think one day he will get three miles as he is stoutly bred but I think for the moment we will stick to two and a half. He won on very soft ground at Newton Abbot - I know it wasn’t much of a race - but at the moment we are not worried about the ground.”
The Grade Two contest at The Open is the second race in the “Road To Cheltenham” series which culminates with the Grade One Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs staged on Ladies Day at The Festival on Wednesday, March 13.
A further four races, including two at Warwick and Sandown, complete Neptune Investment Management’s sponsorship.
The Open kicks off with Countryside Day on Friday, November 16, which features a six-race card headlined by the £45,000 Paddypower.com Handicap Chase over two miles. There is also the £25,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase and the £25,000 Grade Two Opus Energy Novices’ Hurdle over an extended two miles.
The £160,000 Grade Three BetVictor Gold Cup is the highlight of The Open on Saturday, November 17, and has been won by some of Jump racing’s biggest names since it’s inception in 1960. In 2008 the extended two and a half mile handicap chase was won by Imperial Commander, also trained by Twiston-Davies, who went on to capture the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2010.
A terrific card on Saturday also features the £50,000 Grade Three Rewards4Racing Handicap Chase over just short of three and a half miles and the £25,000 Grade Two JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial over an extended two miles.
Sunday’s showpiece is the £100,000 Grade Three Open Handicap Hurdle over an extended two miles which can be a key pointer to the Stan James Champion Hurdle at The Festival in March. The final day of The Open also includes the £50,000 Shloer Chase and trainer Nicky Henderson recently revealed that last season’s impressive Racing Post Arkle Chase winner Sprinter Sacre is likely to make his seasonal reappearance in the two-mile contest.
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