/ Racing

Nigel Twiston-Davies' The New One sees off Irish duo to claim Neptune Novices' Hurdle

Updated: Wednesday, 13 Mar 2013 14:45 | Comments

Sam Twiston-Davies pushes the winner up the hill for a well earned victory
Sam Twiston-Davies pushes the winner up the hill for a well earned victory

The New One showed heart and class in equal measure to win the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained five-year-old (7-2) benefited from a fine ride from the Naunton handler's son, Sam, to defeat Mouse Morris' Rule The World by four lengths.

Pont Alexandre, the 6-4 favourite from Willie Mullins' stable, was always to the fore under Ruby Walsh, but finished third. 

In a race devoid of any serious pace, Pont Alexandre and Ubak jousted for the lead up until the penultimate flight, when the latter was worried out of it.

Mullins' inmate remained in a strong position, with Taquin Du Seuil and Rule The World firmly in contention.

Sam Twiston-Davies had all bases covered, though, and scampered along the outside of the field as The New One secured his third victory from four starts this season.

The heavily-backed Pont Alexandre finished another four and a half lengths adrift of the accomplished scorer.

The winning rider said: "This is him in his full glory.

"I'd like to think he'd be really, really good" - Sam Twiston-Davies on The New One

"He jumped brilliant and travelled away great.

"You won't get a much better feeling than that.

"It was absolute class. I had a bit of trouble in running coming down the hill.

"I'd like to think he'd be really, really good.

"This race looked very competitive and considering we got a few knocks down the hill he has really picked up." 

A slightly deflated Mouse Morris, who was saddling his second runner-up of the first two days, said of Rule The World: "He ran a cracker, but he was beaten by a better horse on the day and there are no excuses.

"You might see him in Punchestown, but he is a big frame of a horse who will be better next year."

Mullins said of Pont Alexandre, whose two wins in Ireland had come on heavy ground: "Ruby said he wasn't travelling from a long way out - maybe soft ground is the key.

"He'll probably go to Punchestown.

"It's just the ground, but I am just disappointed."

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