The New One can retain Champion Hurdle Trial title at Haydock
Saturday 23rd January, 2016 - 2:40 Haydock Park - Champion Hurdle Trial
A huge dent was punched into Haydock Park's Champion Hurdle Trial following the news that Nicky Henderson's Peace And Co would not take his chance in the Grade 2 event on Saturday afternoon, but connections of reigning champion The New One will be shouting from the rooftops as the task for the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained eight-year-old has just got a whole lot easier.
- The New One (2015), Melodic Rendezvous (2014) have both won this race before
- Rooster Booster was the last veteran to win the race in 2004
The New One To Storm To Haydock Hat-Trick
Many will argue that The New One may struggle at the highest level over hurdles, but there's no doubting that the classy Naunton inmate is a premier performer in Grade 2 events, and having won on his previous two visits to Haydock Park it's no surprise to see him installed as a short-priced 1/2 favourite with William Hill for this event.
Sent off at 1/6 in last year's renewal, The New One was made to work for his victory, but he asserted his class late on to grab the prize and if he can build on his second placed effort in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park on Boxing Day then he will be very tough to beat in what is now a relatively mediocre renewal following the scratching of the aforementioned Peace And Co.
Handed a gargantuan test over the festive period, The New One was unable to land a blow on reigning Champion Hurdle champion Faugheen, who bounced back to winning ways with aplomb and will go for success in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday afternoon.
However, there's certainly no rival in the same parish of Faugheen for Twiston-Davies' flag-bearer to take on, so he can cement his place as the elite British two-mile hurdler with a comfortable win, and his current 20/1 odds for the 2016 Champion Hurdle could contract slightly should he put in an impressive display.
Rendezvous Aims To Regain Grade 2 Crown
Jeremy Scott's Melodic Rendezvous tasted success in this race two years ago, and whilst the ten-year-old may not have been able to build on that 2014 win and fight it out at the highest level, he could be potentially the biggest danger to The New One here, and he has been installed as the 6/1 second favourite with bet365 Bookmakers.
Returning from the chasing arena, Melodic Rendezvous has put up some decent efforts over timber, but he was well beaten off top weight at Sandown Park last time out, and the quality he showed in his younger days has somewhat diminished and he could be destined for another minor role here.
Rayvin Black launched back into the limelight last time out when winning that abovementioned Sandown Park contest, but now stepping out of the handicap sphere he will find it tough to frank that form with Melodic Rendezvous, and that's why he is 12/1 with Paddy Power to take the prize. But, he does excel in soft conditions and could outrun his price if the ground remains energy-sapping at the north west venue.
Conan A Watching Brief On Return To Action
Captain Conan has not been seen on a racecourse for 682 days, but Nicky Henderson's former Grade 1-winning chaser is set for an intriguing return on Saturday, however, at 10/1 with Paddy Power he is not expected to shine in the mud and he is certainly just a watching brief.
He has oozed class on the track, but having not been seen since the 2013 Queen Mother Champion Chase then it's hard to assess where he is in terms of maintaining his abilitiy, so it's wise to stay well clear, whilst the same can be said about Fou Et Sage (16/1) and Strongpoint (33/1) who will find things tough against what can be an easy-winning favourite for punters to lap up.
|Saturday 23rd January - 2.40pm||Odds||Won/Lost||Bet|
|Champion Hurdle Trial|
|Tips||The New One to win Best Bet||@ 1 / 2|
2016 Champion Hurdle Trial
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