Nigel Twiston-Davies has announced that The New One is on target to run in the Aintree Hurdle at the Grand National Meeting next month. The classy six-year-old was considered one of the unluckiest losers at the recent Cheltenham Festival and connections will be hoping that he can atone for that in Liverpool. The New One was a fast finishing third in the Champion Hurdle at Prestbury Park after being badly hampered by the fall of Our Conor during the race.
Such was the finishing speed of The New One that day that most believe that he would have won the Champion Hurdle with a clear run. It wasn't to be on the day though with Jezki claiming the win but he is reported to be in great form at home ahead of his second tilt at the Aintree Hurdle. The New One finished second in the 2mf4 contest as a novice in the race last season and given the way he shaped at Cheltenham, he is likely to be the favourite to go one better than that this time around.
Connections of The New One have been quick to nominate the Aintree Hurdle as his next target but who he is likely to face is less clear. There have been one or two suggestions that Annie Power could head to Merseyside after her defeat at the Festival. The mare was all the rage in the World Hurdle betting before the race but ultimately only managed to finish second behind More Of That over three miles. There is some suggestion that she could drop back in trip which could mean that Willie Mullins considers sending her back to England for the 2m4f Aintree Hurdle.
The Aintree Hurdle has grown into one of the key end of season contests in recent years with some very famous names on the roll of honour. Istrabraq was one horse who managed to win the Aintree and Champion Hurdle's in the same season, doing so back in 1999 for Aidan O'Brien, More recently winners have included Solwhit, Zarkandar and Oscar Whisky who won it in 2011 and 2012 for Nicky Henderson. Perhaps the most famous winner of the Aintree Hurdle came back in 1984 when Dawn Run claimed the win and she of course remains the only horse ever to have won both a Champion Hurdle and a Gold Cup.