The New One hangs on in thrilling finish
The New One came out on top in the Aintree Hurdle, but only just and definitely not in the style of a 4/9 favourite.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ star turn was sent off a warm favourite for the Grade 1 contest following his misfortune in the Champion Hurdle last month but was made to work very hard to achieve redemption, fighting out an exciting finish with the rejuvenated Rock On Ruby and Irish raider Diakali.
The Paul Nicholls trained pair of Ptit Zig and Irish Saint had cut out the running early in the 2m 4f contest, until Noel Fehily made the move to the front on Rock On Ruby 4 out, quickening the pace considerably in an attempt to run the finish out of the odds on favourite.
Rock On Ruby, returning to hurdling after a short lived Chasing career, lead to the penultimate flight but Sam Twiston-Davies was remaining calm in behind on board The New One, traveling smoothly, just ahead of the rallying Diakali who was under another typical barnstorming A.P McCoy ride.
The New One was pulled to the stand rail over the last but did not find as much as expected despite Sam’s urgings, an thus opening the door to a renewed effort from the gallant Rock On Ruby and the gritty Diakali.
The three would flash over the line together, with The New One eventually being announced the winner by just a head to Rock On Ruby, with Diakali just a nose back in third.
“He was a bit hit and miss with his jumping today”, Sam said afterwards. “I brought him to the side because I didn’t want to give a hand to Rock On Ruby and he stayed on but I was surprised to see the two upsides me at the end.
“He was very unlucky at Cheltenham and I probably gave him a tough enough race that day, which may have taken the gloss off today. He is a very classy horse.”
Twiston-Davies Snr added: “He is definitely more of a 2 miler than 2m 4f.
“He is obviously the best we have ever had and the one we have been looking for. Everyone looks for a horse like him and we have got one thankfully.”
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