The New One out to continue domination if Haydock survives

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.
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Providing the meeting survives an 8am precautionary inspection, The New One will attempt to win the Unibet Champion Hurdle Trial for the fourth year in succession at Haydock.

He has been favourite on each occasion and while the demanding conditions have never made it easy for him, he has always got the job done in the end.

With his career earnings already over the £1m mark, The New One will scoop another pot over £40,000 if he is successful.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “You know what the ground is going to be like at Haydock in January.

“Hopefully it’s on because he’s in good form. He’s run four great races this season and is as good as ever.

“It will be nice to win it four times in a row. I’m not sure how many horses have won the same Grade Two four times but it won’t be many.”

Dan Skelton runs Ch’tibello, a course-and-distance winner in November 2016 and fourth in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham on his only start this season.

Part-owner Ian Marmion said: “We were delighted with his comeback run when just behind The New One.

“It was his first run in nine months and he just couldn’t quite take the gap on the rail.

“After that it was effectively race over, but he wasn’t beaten far. He travelled well and just got a bit tired.

“When you consider that eight weeks before that we weren’t even sure if he was going to run again, it was a great run.

“We’re a bit more commercial than some owners and we like to see them run so while Dan might have liked him to go straight to Cheltenham, this is very good money on offer.

“The New One will be hard to beat but we’ve got course-and-distance form and I’d be disappointed if we couldn’t turn the tables.”

The only other runners are last year’s second Clyne and Unison.

Trainer Evan Williams said of Clyne: “It’s going to be very difficult but obviously he has to have another crack at it around a track and conditions that he loves.”

Philip Hobbs hopes the decision to bypass the Welsh National with Rock The Kasbah pays dividends in the Peter Marsh Chase.

Hobbs’s inmate was the long-time ante-post favourite for the Chepstow marathon, but the Minehead handler felt three miles and five furlongs in heavy ground would have been asking too much of him.

He said: “I’m not worried about the heavy ground at Haydock.

“It was a combination of the trip and the ground why we pulled him out at Chepstow.

“This race isn’t over as far and he’s won at Haydock before, so I’ve no issues taking him there.

“I wouldn’t say I’m desperate to run him but he’s ready to run.”