Sam retains New One hopes
Sam Twiston-Davies still retains the belief that The New One can record the second Cheltenham Festival success of his career when he tackles a new trip in March.
Trained by his father Nigel Twiston-Davies, The New One has been a standing dish at the Cotswolds showcase since he won the Neptune Novices' Hurdle in 2013, but has yet to see the winners' enclosure a second time.
The New One has admirably finished third, fifth, fourth and fifth in the last four Champion Hurdles over two miles but his regular rider admits the time has come to try something new and completely unknown by launching him into the Stayers' Hurdle instead.
Now ten-years-old, The New One has finished second to My Tent Or Yours in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham and filled the same position behind reigning two-mile kingpin Buveur D'air in the Kempton's Christmas Hurdle on his two most recent starts.
Twiston-Davies concedes that he just doesn't have the pace to live with the best two-milers any longer.
"When you go to Cheltenham [in March] you want to believe you can win and the trouble is with some of those younger horses coming through, they just have that little bit too much speed for him," said the jockey.
"The chance we have of winning at Cheltenham is in the three-mile race. We are stepping massively into the unknown, but you have to remember he won a Neptune over two-five and he ran through the finishing line and didn't pull up until the top of the hill.
"If the ground is good, I don't see any reason why he won't get it. It will open up a lot more avenues and as we have seen over two miles this season, he is still plenty capable of picking up prize-money in the best races."
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