The New One leaves Rule The World standing as he clears the final hurdlePICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
The New One too quick for Pont in Neptune
Report: Cheltenham Festival, Wednesday
Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m5f, Old Course
THE NEW ONE justified all the faith put in him by connections as he sped away up the Cheltenham hill to defeat Rule The World and the heavily punted Pont Alexandre.
It had shaped up as one of the races of the meeting before the tapes went up and it didn't disappoint as The New One put in a performance filled with class and potential.
Pont Alexandre - representing the all-conquering team of Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh - was backed as if defeat was out of the question and he was sent off the 6-4 favourite.
Walsh set a modest pace on the Irish hope with The New One tucked in behind with Taquin Du Seuil, Rule The World and Chatterbox.
Mistakes were few and far between with The New One making his only error as the pace quickened down the hill and took the second last.
But the 7-2 second-favourite was quickly back on the bridle and once in space his turn of foot was unleashed.
He surged past Pont Alexandre and was left with Rule The World as his only contender, although not for long.
Over the final flight The New One was clear and he romped up the hill to take victory in supreme style from Rule The World with Pont Alexandre third.
Sam Twiston-Davies said: "He was just brilliant. He travelled great and you won't get a much better feeling than that. He was absolutely class. Today's race was very competitive and he really picked up. I am not sure what the plan is but I am very happy with today."
Quotes from the Stan James Champion Hurdle came flooding in after the performance with BetVictor introducing him into the market at 10-1, as did Paddy Power. William Hill went 14-1 (from 25). Boylesports make him a 10-1 chance for the Champion Hurdle and 8-1 for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
It was a third win in the race for Nigel Twiston-Davies, who said: "It's wonderful. He's a real class horse. What beat him last time was really heavy ground.
"He was good. The whole race was run to suit and he showed he exceptional turn of foot. We might go back to two miles and go for the real top races now."