Twiston-Davies dominates at Haydock

High-class action at Haydock
High-class action at Haydock
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It was a memorable day at Haydock Park for the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard as he saddled both big race winners.

On an afternoon when Ascot and Taunton fell victim to frost, Haydock got the go-ahead and Twiston-Davies certainly made the most of it.

First up, The New One produced a battling display to prevail in an exciting finish to the Champion Hurdle Trial, winning the Grade Two for the third year in a row.

In the next race, the grey Bristol De Mai produced an excellent round of jumping to saunter to victory in an eventful contest for the Peter Marsh Chase, scoring by 22 lengths under Daryl Jacob, justifying favouritism.

The New One, ridden by trainer's son Sam Twiston-Davies and sent off the 6-4 favourite, edged out long-time leader Clyne to win the Champion Hurdle Trial

It followed on from him completing a hat-trick of wins in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham last month.

The nine-year-old, who has been an outstanding servant to the yard, had to dig deep to get the better of Clyne, who proved a tough nut to crack.

The New One made the running until Clyne set sail for home and briefly looked in trouble, with L'Ami Serge moving up menacingly on the far rail.

The winner even flattened the third-last flight but that did not stop Twiston-Davies' grand servant from pulling out more to prevail in game fashion by a length.

L'Ami Serge was third, while Irving fell at the fourth flight.

Nigel Twiston-Davies said of The New One: "He's a proper racehorse - the sort of horse we dream about.

"We've everything covered, but, at the moment, I think we are (heading for the) Champion Hurdle.

"It's worth another go, I'd have thought."

Bristol De Mai, under a confident, front-running ride from Jacob, was in the vanguard throughout and he gradually lengthened his lead without coming under maximum pressure as his toiling rivals dropped away.

Otago Trail stayed on well but was a distant second, beaten with Bishops Road, who carried the colours of Lytham businessman Alan Halsall, another three and a half lengths away in third..

Bristol De Mai was subsequently cut to 14-1 from 33-1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Twiston-Davies said: "Whether we are quite of the class of Thistlecrack will be seen to be believed.

"I'd lean towards the Gold Cup. It looks like he's a stayer now."

Jacobs said: "We were quietly confident coming into the race."

The disappointment of the Peter Marsh was the much-vaunted French import Alary, who travelled well for a fair way, but was pulled up before the third-last fence.

That must put a serious question mark over whether Alary, having his first run in this country for Colijn Tizzard, would run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Neon Wolf underlined his Cheltenham Festival claims with an exemplary effort to win the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices Hurdle,

Sunday's meeting at Hereford has been called off.