The New One claims third Cheltenham win for Nigel Twiston-Davies

The New One

The New One won the International Hurdle for a third time with a bold front-running display at Cheltenham.

It was a sixth victory at the course for the 13-8 favourite – trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies – who beat My Tent Or Yours by three and a half lengths.

The triumph was jockey Richard Johnson’s sixth in the race.

Earlier, Twiston-Davies’ son Sam claimed his biggest win since his return from injury with victory on Frodon in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.

The 24-year-old missed seven and a half weeks with a damaged spleen and only returned on 30 November.

Frodon, trained by Paul Nicholls, was among five horses still in contention jumping the final fence.

But Twiston-Davies worked hard as the 14-1 shot became only the second four-year-old to win the race.

He had been well in contention at last month’s Bet Victor Gold Cup at the same track before an error cost him and he eventually finished well down the field.

“It’s important for me coming back from injury to get a big one on the board for the boss – I couldn’t be happier,” said Twiston-Davies.

“If he hadn’t made a mistake at the ditch down the back the last time, you wonder what might have been but I said he had a good chance.

“These days are very important. He’s brave and it’s a very special day.”

Sam Twiston-Davies on Frodon

Aso (13-2) finished a length and a half back in second with last year’s winner Village Vic, the 6-1 joint favourite, third.

Frodon follows another Nicholls-trained horse Unioniste, who won the handicap chase at the same age four years ago.

Despite the win, Frodon is more likely to be aimed at the JLT Novices Chase or the Arkle Trophy rather than the prestigious Gold Cup at the Festival meeting in March.

Plans for The New One to go steeplechasing are now off, though, with the Champion Hurdle or World Hurdle targets at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The New One completed a Cheltenham double for the trainer after Wholestone won the novice hurdle.

Analysis

BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

Emotions ran high after The New One’s emphatic success, partly because he’s been around for ages – this was his 17th win since the first in 2011 – but also because thoughts turned to his intended rider Ryan Hatch, in hospital 40 miles away in Bristol being treated for serious injuries incurred in a fall the day before.

Nigel Twiston-Davies paid fulsome tribute to Hatch, an important cog in the operation, as did the trainer’s son Sam after he recorded a stirring win on Frodon.

Just back from his own injury, he had also been plonked on the turf by a mount earlier in the day but said Frodon provided a significant confidence-booster.

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BBC Sport – Horse Racing

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