The New One (left): laid down a marker for the 2014 Champion HurdlePICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
The New One posts impressive sectionals
TOPSPEED guru Dave Edwards believes The New One could be a serious contender for next season's Champion Hurdle after analysing his performance at Cheltenham.
While Hurricane Fly's effort to regain his Champion Hurdle crown was rightly lauded, The New One could prove to be stern competition after posting a superb time when winning the Neptune.
Edwards said: "The Neptune has proved an excellent pointer to the following year's Champion and The New One set an early marker for next season's hurdling crown.
"The track layout was identical both days and the splits reveal Nigel Twiston-Davies's rising star came from the second last in 38.53s against 43.13s clocked by Hurricane Fly a day earlier, a significant margin.
"Of all the hurdle races on the Old course he motored up the run in at 32.1mph, the pick of the week. In contrast Champion Hurdle winner Hurricane Fly laboured at 27.4mph, the slowest."
Nicky Henderson had a fantastic time at the festival and Racing Post Ratings handicapper Steve Mason thinks that his Bobs Worth has a solid chance of retaining his title next year.
"Along with the 'veteran' Long Run, three second season chasers dominated the market for what looked a cracking Gold Cup on paper and, the late departure of Silviniaco Conti apart, the race didn't disappoint with last season's RSA winner Bobs Worth (181) powering up the hill, leaving the tiring 2012 Jewson winner Sir Des Champs (174) and Long Run (173) to fill the places," Mason said.
"The quartet will hopefully all be back in twelve months time and better ground may bring the leading players closer together. However, given his appetite for the Cheltenham hill, a repeat success for the Nicky Henderson-trained three-time festival winner looks the most logical outcome."
Get Monday's Racing Post for all the reaction to the festival from Dave Edwards and Steve Mason.