The New One and Kings Palace have tightened their grip on the respective ante-post Champion Hurdle and Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle markets following recent successes.
Sam Twiston-Davies guided the former to victory in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham while Tom Scudamore eased to victory aboard Kings Palace in his tune-up event.
Both are now favourites across the board to secure Festival glory with The New One priced at 3/1 to land hurdling’s premier race while Kings Palace is 5/1 to reign supreme in the Albert Bartlett.
The latter, trained by David Pipe, fully justified odds-on favouritism to secure a foot-perfect score.
And given the way the raw five-year-old raced clear of Masters Hill to win easily by 14 lengths he’ll be difficult to beat next March when taking on the three-mile Festival trip once again.
Meanwhile, The New One’s six-length victory only served to cement popular opinion that the Twiston-Davies camp can secure a maiden Champion Hurdle success.
Defeating the re-opposing Zarkandar, having lost out to Paul Nicholls’ charge at Aintree, laid down another marker to his rivals.
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has already outlined that a quick reappearance at Kempton on Boxing Day is on the cards with the Christmas Hurdle likely to be the final opportunity for The New One to offer more Cheltenham clues.
Further proof of last year’s Neptune Management Investment Hurdle winner’s credentials is hardly needed.
But a potential clash with 5/1 Champion Hurdle shot My Tent or Yours could lead to some reassessment if Nicky Henderson’s Fighting Fifth hero gets the better of his rival.
The New One triumphed when the pair met in an Aintree bumper earlier on in their respective careers.
However, barring a role reversal, jockey Sam Twiston-Davies looks set to mount a slight favourite when both line-up for a bid at claiming the timber’s greatest prize next Spring.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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