Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies applauded the talent and bravery of top hurdler The New One after he gained a dramatic win on the opening day of the Grand National meeting at Aintree today.
The duo achieved some compensation for an unlucky defeat in the Champion Hurdle with a narrow victory in the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle.
The New One (4-9 favourite) looked like winning easily after jumping the last hurdle, but he won by only a head from Rock On Ruby with Diakali a nose further behind in third.
Twiston-Davies said: “It was hit and miss jumping-wise and he didn’t quite get into the rhythm he got into early on in the Champion Hurdle, but he was very tough.
“I probably gave him a hard enough race at Cheltenham which probably took some of the sparkle away from him today.
“But you can’t take away from what an excellent performance that was, the way he travelled and the way he went about things. He’s a classy horse.”
Twiston-Davies’ trainer dad Nigel said The New One wouldn’t run again this season and he would be aimed at the 2015 Champion Hurdle.
He was pleased the star of his stable in Guiting Power signed off the season on a winning note after he was hampered by the fatal fall of Our Conor and finished strongly into third place.
Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “It’s obvious he’s the best horse we’ve ever had and is the one we’ve been looking for.
“It was a race we should win so it wasn’t that awful thing of Cheltenham where we were so gutted because we thought we should win or hoped we would win but didn’t.
“If we had got beaten today, oh my goodness, we would have been in a terrible state.”