Kempton: The New One back with a bang
The New One was the stand out name on today’s card at Kempton and, as expected, he put in the stand out performance as he made his first step towards another crack at the Champion Hurdle next March. Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge was probably the biggest hard luck story of last season’s Cheltenham festival but there was no trouble today as the speedy 6yo merely stretched his legs to record a 2 1/4 length victory on his reappearance.
Having been hampered earlier in the race by the fatal fall of Our Conor in the Champion Hurdle, The New One finished his race that day better than any and just failed to reel in winner Jezki and runner-up My Tent Or Yours. Having started this season in the same manner as twelve months ago in taking today’s Listed contest, Twiston-Davies’ charge will now be campaigned in view of hitting Cheltenham in prime shape yet again, as he attempts to make amends for last season’s disappointment. Most firms left him as a general 7/2 joint favourite with Faugheen for the Champion Hurdle in the aftermath.
The New One’s victory brought up a treble on the card for the father/son combo of Nigel and Sam, with Fond Memory making an impressive debut over fences in the Novices’ Handicap Chase. The pair also scored with 7/2 joint favourite Wood Yer in the 3 mile handicap chase on the card.
Earlier in the day, another horse to make his mark on the Cheltenham ante-post market was the David Pipe trained Stars Over The Sea in the opening Juvenile Hurdle. The son of Sea The Stars, a 99 rated horse on the level for Mark Johnston, put in a hugely impressive performance on his hurdling debut to score by 6 lengths, putting himself at the head of the ante-post market for the Triumph Hurdle in the process.
Having won two of his nine starts on the flat, Stars Over The Sea has obviously been well schooled since joining Pipe, as he put in a measured round of jumping under Tom Scudamore before running out a very convincing winner in the end. He was installed as a general 16/1 favourite by most firms in the aftermath for next March’s Triumph.
The other Listed hurdle on the card went the way of Blue Heron for the in form Dan Skelton team. Skelton is rapidly beginning to showcase the talents he learned from his old boss Paul Nicholls and, in Blue Heron, he may have found himself a very capable type to go forward with this season, after the Heron Island 6yo made it two wins from three over hurdles with the minimal of fuss under brother Harry.
By Kevin Walsh / Photos: John Giles/David Davies/PA Wire
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