National Hunt fans said goodbye to one of their favourite hurdlers of the last decade earlier this month as The New One died after a bout of colic.
Naunton-based Nigel Twiston-Davies’ runner never quite won the big one at the Cheltenham Festival (Champion Hurdle); however, he came out on top in lots of top-class races, and there was never any doubt about his talent.
The New One had four attempts at the premier hurdle contest in National Hunt racing. Twiston-Davies will be hoping the next class of hurdlers in his yard can step up and win the race in 2021, in what would be a fine tribute to his former stable star. The defending champion, Epatante, is the 7/2 favourite in the horse racing betting for the next renewal in March, but with so much racing still to come until then, there is time for many of the Gloucestershire-based trainers’ hurdles to put themselves in contention.
The last time racing fans saw The New One on the track was in 2018 before he retired. He won over £1 million in prize money during his career and even has the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock named after him, a contest he prevailed in on four occasions.
Cheltenham Win as a Novice
The New One’s first big success over hurdles came at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival as he won the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle by four lengths, finishing ahead of Rule The World and Pont Alexandre respectively.
Twelve months after that success at Prestbury Park, The New One went into the Champion Hurdle with strong claims as he started at 100/30 in the betting. Unfortunately for supporters of the horse, he was badly hampered in the early stages of that contest. Twiston-Davies’ runner did well to recover and finished really strong to finish third, two-and-half-lengths behind the winner Jezki. Had it not been for the hampering, the result could have been even better for the Gloucestershire runner.
Aintree Hurdle Success
Although his connections were left wondering what might have been at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival, they did gain some compensation a month later as The New One won the Grade One Aintree Hurdle.
That victory on Merseyside was the first of five consecutive wins. Notable successes followed in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham and the 2015 Cheltenham Hurdle Trial. His run came to a halt in the Champion Hurdle as he had to settle for fifth place in the race which was won impressively by Faugheen.
Consistent Even in Latter Stages of His Career
The New One has two further shots at the Champion Hurdle. He came back fourth in 2016, while a year later he finished fifth. In what was always a competitive division during his career, Twiston-Davies’ runner always managed to perform at a high level.
In his final couple of seasons on the track, his connections experimented over a longer distance; however, he was unable to prevail against some of the best stayers in the UK and Ireland.
It is no surprise that tributes came pouring in from those in the sport when the news broke of his passing. Twiston-Davies can only hope that he is able to develop another horse as talented as The New One in the near future.
Going for Sunday April 3 - Good (Thursday)
6m SE Cheltenham, nr junction of A40 and A436 (Exit 11A, M5)