• Racing/
  • The New One Takes International Thriller

StanJames.com International Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 1f

  • (4yo+, 2m 1f, Class 1, 7 runners)
  • Winner £74,035 2nd £27,781 3rd £13,910 4th £6,929 5th £3,484 6th £1,742
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 6.70s
  • Off time: 15:01:59
  • Last Updated: December 16 2013, 22:12 GMT

The New One won an incident packed renewal of the StanJames.com International Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The New One: Won incident-packed International Hurdle
The New One: Won incident-packed International Hurdle

Nigel Twiston-Davies' charge secured a double on the day for trainer and jockey though the race was marred by the fall of French raider, Seabreeze D'Ho infront of the stands.

Zarkandar came into the race having won last year's renewal and having seen off early leader, Hawkhill, the Paul Nicholls inmate assumed the lead and set out for home some way out.

The big two in the market were pursued by rank outsider Jumps Road as Colin Tizzard's six-year-old belied his 100/1 odds to go with the market leaders but he found his way blocked by Daryl Jacob as he went for an audacious run up the stands' rail and ultimately had to settle for a well-held third place.

Coming to the final flight, The New One appeared to be cruising but he suddenly began to idle starting up the run-in and Zarkandar attempted to seize the initiative.

For a brief moment, the favourite looked to have a battle on his hands but there was no cooler head at Prestbury Park than that of Sam Twiston-Davies and the partnership again went clear to score by an easy six lengths close home.

The winning rider described the race as "a bit of a nightmare" but was delighted to get the right result.

"I missed the last, but he has so much boot underneath him that I gave him a kick in the belly and off he went," he said.

"I am a bit annoyed with myself, as I said the one thing I wouldn't do was hit the front before the last, but the horse is very good.

"The race fell apart earlier than I would have wanted and it was more a case of just trying to get from A to B over the last rather than trying to see a stride, but other than the last, I was pleased with the way he jumped.

"I know what I did wrong today and I know we can do better. What you're on an odds-on favourite all you want to do is not mess up - and that's what I have done! It's my job not to make these silly mistakes and I did, but I'm still happy because I know what I felt today and I know how good he is."

Proud father Twiston-Davies added: "It's different class, having the boy on board makes it extra special.

"Winning races with Carl (Llewellyn) who is my best mate was great, but that is an extra bit again.

"What I loved was when the other horse got to him he quickened away - that was Champion Hurdle-type acceleration."

Despite the relatively short time between races, the trainer is eyeing a potential clash with My Tent Or Yours, his nearest rival in the Champion Hurdle betting, before the end of the month.

"He'll have the entry for the Christmas Hurdle [at Kempton on Boxing Day] and as long as he is 100 per cent he will go, as there's so few races for him," he said.

Daryl Jacob said of Zarkandar: "It (interference) has obviously put him off his stride a bit, but in regard to the winner there was no way I'd have got him anyway."

The stewards ruled Brendan Powell on Jumps Road at fault for the incident, and suspended him for three days for careless riding.

Meanwhile, Seabreeze D'Ho was taken to the racecourse stables for veterinary assessment. Initial reports suggested he may have suffered a shoulder injury when he fell at the second flight.

Sky Bet go 3/1 from 7/2 about The New One for the Champion Hurdle and spokesman Michael Shinners said: "The New One continues to prove that he's got the tools to have a big say in the top two-mile races and he's run away from a decent yardstick up the hill. He's our new outright favourite for the Champion Hurdle and it will take a good one to lower his colours."

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