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The New One could well step down in trip for Champion Hurdle

| 15.10.2013

In the immediate aftermath of The New One’s impressive victory in the 2013 Neptune at Cheltenham, his blunt-talking handler Nigel Twiston-Davies made no bones about it: the Champion Hurdle was his aim in 2014.

While he admitted that chasing remains an option for his charge – who has been a feature of early Cheltenham 2014 odds for the RSA Chase – the sheer class of the animal makes continuing his hurdling career attractive.

Having taken the Neptune over 2m4f from Mouse Morris’ Rule The World, The New One may have been considered to be a stayer in the making.

However, Twiston-Davies remains convinced they went no kind of clip in the race, meaning it was his star’s speed rather than stamina which won him the laurels.

A subsequent run over the same trip in Aintree’s Mersey Hurdle saw him half a length behind Zarkandar in a race most often contested by Champion Hurdler horses stepping up.

With the likes of Thousand Stars and Countrywide Flame in behind him it confirmed he is certainly in the class of those who have contested the Cheltenham race in the past and he’ll only have improved with another summer on his back.

Boasting a fine track record of three wins and one place from five career runs there will be worse Cheltenham 2014 tips to be had even if his trainer shuns the Champion Hurdle in favour of a battle with Big Buck’s in the World Hurdle.

However, given The New One had the sheer nip to beat fellow 2014 Champion candidate My Tent Or Yours in a 2m1f bumper at Aintree in 2012 he should have the perfect combination of speed and staying power for the 2m burn-up.