Defeat in the Christmas Hurdle was a disappointment, particularly as he looked to have the race at his mercy prior to stumbling his way over the last hurdle, but he gave My Tent Or Yours one hell of a battle up the run-in.
With his Cheltenham record, the half a length margin of defeat and the fact the stumble made such a difference, Team Twiston-Davies won’t be too despondent as the Festival draws nearer.
While a six-length win over Zarkandar and a supporting cast of also-rans the last day wasn’t strictly bookie-bashing form three months out from the Champion Hurdle, The New One did enough to confirm himself as a serious Champion Hurdle contender.
Travelling easily on the bridle before clipping the last, Sam Twiston-Davies had to get down and dirty with last season’s Neptune Novice Hurdle winner before the turbo boost kicked in and he powered up Cleeve Hill.
Hurricane Fly won his fourth Irish Champion Hurdle and heads the market but if The New One turns up in the sort of form that saw him beat Rule the World by four lengths last season there could be a new name on the Champion Hurdle roll of honour come 3.25pm on March 11.