The New One: Champion Hurdle contender is in action at KemptonPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
The New One and Rock On Ruby set to do battle
FANS of the Flat had their main course with Champions Day on Saturday and followers of jump racing get a tasty treat at Kempton this afternoon when leading Champion Hurdle contenders The New One and Rock On Ruby go head-to-head.
The pair will clash in the 2m William Hill - Download The App Hurdle (4.25), which has been upgraded to Listed status for the first time.
Reigning Champion Hurdle winner Katchit turned up in 2008, and with Australia Day, Quaddick Lake and Coronea Lily opposing the big two, there could be some early pointers for Cheltenham in March in evidence.
The New One impressed many with his potent turn of foot last season when he won the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the festival before finishing a creditable runner-up to Zarkandar in the Aintree Hurdle.
Nigel Twiston-Davies, whose son Sam rides, said on Saturday: "It's all been fine with him. It's the right time to start him off and he should be fit enough. He'll improve for the run, but he's ready to go.
"I'll leave tactics up to Sam. He's pretty straightforward and can come off a fast pace or he's got a hell of a turn of foot."
Twiston-Davies is keen for genuine good ground for The New One, with conditions at Kempton described as good on Sunday morning following 2mm of rain overnight, although there is a risk of heavy showers.
Harry Fry is keen to get last year's Champion Hurdle runner-up Rock On Ruby back in action, and said: "He's slightly older and wiser and is more workmanlike at home, only doing as much as he needs to, hence why we're keen to get him out early. He's definitely going to improve for the run but is enthusiastic and schooled brilliantly on Wednesday, so we're looking forward to running him."