New Champion Hurdle favourite
The New One is the outright favourite for the StanJames Champion Hurdle after victory at Cheltenham.
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On what was a fine day for the stable of Nigel Twiston-Davies (the yard also won the feature handicap with 7/1 chance Double Ross), The New One went some way to enhancing his Champion Hurdle credentials at Prestbury Park.
A 7/2 co-favourite in most books at the start of the day, the five-year-old has been cut by half a point (to 3/1) by the majority of firms although Ladbrokes and totesport have held their ground at the longer price.
The winning jockey, Sam Twiston-Davies, felt that he hadn't been seen at his best while also revealing that punters will get another chance to see The New One before Cheltenham in March.
"I nearly messed it up, I had three handfuls and thought I'd let him bowl along and then had to go for him again but he's done it well. It's unbelievable," said the jockey.
"You know what Nige is like, he loves to go for the big ones so he might go for the Christmas Hurdle and then freshen him up for Cheltenham," he added.
On a busy day, Kings Palace produced one of the most visually impressive performances of the day with a scintillating victory in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Gloucestershire track.
Reaction was unanimous with the layers slashing David Pipe's exciting youngster to a general 5 and 6/1 for the race of the same name although ride Tom Scudamore wasn't getting carried away.
"He's still quite raw, if we can keep going on from this we'll have a nice horse," was his verdict.
Sam Winner may have been receiving upwards of 5lbs from his rivals in the Ryman Stationery Novices' Chase but the layers were still impressed with his four length defeat of Le Bec (conceding 8lbs) and he is available for the RSA Chase at prices between 14/1 and 25s (Paddy Power).
His trainer Paul Nicholls said: "This was the ideal track for him. He wasn't right last year, but he's back now and he's eliminated the silly mistakes. He'll have an entry for the RSA, but he might be a right one for the four-miler at the Festival as he's a dour stayer."
Nicholls has another potential RSA candidate in Black Thunder who enjoyed a Grade Two success at Lingfield. Ladbrokes cut him to 14/1 (from 16s) but he is available at 22/1 (888sport).
The Emma Lavelle-trained Le Bec may just about have come out of the Cheltenham race as the best horse at the weights but he is now a general 20/1 chance (from 14s) while the disappointing Shutthefrontdoor is out to 33s.
Only a couple of firms have priced up for the four-miler (the National Hunt Chase) but both Sam Winner and Black Thunder can be backed at 12s.
More Of That put his name into the mix for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle when retaining his unbeaten record in the Osborne House Relkeel Hurdle.
Owned, like current World Hurdle favourite At Fishers Cross, by JP McManus, the five-year-old was put in at just 8/1 for Festival glory by Ladbrokes but Coral were far from convinced in going on at twice that price.
There weren't the waves in the JCB Triumph Hurdle market that had been expected with Kentucky Hyden pushed out to 33/1 (William Hill) from 14s after being turned over by Ballyglasheen while beaten favourite Vicenzo Mio doubled in price to 50/1 (BetVictor).
Nicky Henderson, trainer of Kentucky Hyden, had another live contender for the juvenile crown - at least before today - with Royal Irish Hussar but the Cheltenham winner, who had been vying for favouritism, was pushed out to 25s after flopping at Doncaster.
Fox Norton, the winner on Town Moor, is available at the same price (from 33s) although some firms were more impressed than others and make the three-year-old a 16/1 shot.