The New One: connections bullish as star hurdler nears returnPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
The New One delights team as return nears
THE NEW ONE, described by Nigel Twiston-Davies as potentially the best horse he has trained and a leading contender for this season's Stan James Champion Hurdle, was on Tuesday reported to be in phenomenal form as he gears up for his first start of the campaign next month.
Owned by Simon Such, the five-year-old ran out an impressive winner of the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival before running a creditable second to Zarkandar in open company in the Aintree Hurdle.
He ended the season with an official rating of 165, a mark not bettered by a novice hurdler since Iris's Gift in 2002-03.
Kempton's Listed 2m hurdle on October 20 has been identified as the starting point for The New One, the Champion Hurdle sponsor's 6-1 fourth favourite.
"He's had a fantastic summer, is back in training and has just started doing his first pieces of fast work," said Such. "He's awesome, in really good nick.
"We'll probably go to Kempton first providing conditions are right. It's two miles, going down the Champion Hurdle route."
The regard in which The New One was held last season remains sky-high. "Nigel's absolutely ecstatic," Such added. "Nigel's very much a closed and guarded book but he just can't contain himself when he sees him coming up the gallops - he's absolutely phenomenal."