Bookmakers trim The New One to 6/1 for Champion Hurdle success after Nigel Twiston-Davies reports horse is working well
It’s been a frustrating couple of Cheltenham Festivals for The New One who was finishing fast when landing third spot in the 2014 Champion Hurdle before finding the Willie Mullins horses too fast in the same race twelve months ago.
However, trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies remains confident in the ability of this eight-year-old horse who sprang on to the scene with an impressive victory in the Neptune three years ago and the trainer feels that his charge has a fantastic chance of victory.
“This time last year we were really struggling with him,” said Twiston-Davies in an interview in Sunday’s Racing Post. “He was in a swimming pool, lame, and after all that he was beaten only eight lengths. He’s a lot better this year and we think he’s got a very good chance, even if nobody else seems to.
The trainer added: “Obviously your thinking has to change when a horse like Faugheen comes out but all we can do is get The New One there in the best possible shape and that part of the plan is going nicely.
“These horses don’t change from seven to eight, whatever some trainers will have you believe, but he’s in great shape, still big and strong, and I think the Champion Hurdle is the perfect race for him.”
The horse’s chances have been boosted by Sam Twiston-Davies’ decision to ride his father’s charge in the race, with Paddy Power offering a best price 13/2 about The New One claiming victory in a race which has seen Faugheen and Arctic Fire withdraw recently.
Identity Thief is also a best price 11/2 with Paddy Power, with the Henry de Bromhead charge looking in good nick approaching this encounter, although the bookies favourite is Annie Power.
Annie Power was thought to be lining up in the Mares’ Hurdle to avenge that final hurdle fall last year, although it appears that she will be supplemented for the showcase race on Day 1 of the Festival.
There are several who feel that Annie Power might not be up to scratch in this two-mile encounter, with stable-mate Nichols Canyon 5/1 with Paddy Power to land gold for Willie Mullins.