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The New One (Richard Johnson) leads

The New One (right) adopts the front-running tactics that led to victory

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

New One captures third
International Hurdle

Report: Cheltenham, Saturday International Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m½f, New course

THE NEW ONE once again showed Cheltenham in December is his favourite time of year as he joined Birds Nest and Relkeel in winning the International Hurdle for a third time.

The eight-year-old, who was denied starting his new career over fences by the weather last week, found his new partner Richard Johnson to his liking as they clicked from flagfall, making all to win by three lengths.


There was no sign of schooling over fences affecting The New One's hurdling as he was slick and fast over his hurdles to put his rivals under pressure.

Although old adversary My Tent Or Yours shadowed him down the hill and into the straight The New One once again was not for passing as Johnson drove him out after momentarily wandering left with the race won.

Like Birds Nest and Relkeel the holy grail of the Champion Hurdle has proved beyond The New One but it did not stop Paddy Power cutting him to 16-1 (from 66) for next March. Coral went 14-1 (from 50).

Chasing plans shelved

Twiston-Davies pointed the way to the Champion after this sparkling performance.

"Chasing is well out of my mind to next year and we will bash on towards another Champion Hurdle. He probably isn't quite good enough now," he said.

"He certainly was three years ago when he was unlucky not to win. With different riding tactics now he is going straight maybe he can do it."

Reflecting on the fates taking a hand with Exeter cancelled last week, the trainer added: "Exeter was definitely the best abandonment that ever happened. I must send a Christmas card to Exeter."

Johnson was suitably impressed by his new acquaintance as he said: "He's a lovely horse and I'm very lucky to ride him today.

"He definitely stays well and from two out he just kept finding. They've got a new bit on him and it's helped keep him a bit straighter.

"He's outstayed them really and as he's got older he's lost that bit of pace."

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