The New One
Image supplied by Goffs Ltd.

The New One is aiming to win the Unibet Champion Hurdle Trial for the fourth year in succession at Haydock on Saturday.

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 £1million 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.”

The Grade Two Sky Bet Supreme Trial has attracted a field of six, with Kim Bailey’s First Flow bringing the highest rating into the contest, having bolted up by 20 lengths at Newbury last time out.

“I sincerely hope the ground won’t bother him, it didn’t at Newbury,” said Bailey

“It’s a big step up for him but I think he justifies it given what he’s done so far.

“It’s a competitive race and will be a very hard slog in the ground, but everyone knows what it is going to be at Haydock in January.

“He’s not one for the spring festivals so if all goes well here, this could be his last run of the season.”

Donald McCain’s Waterlord and the Colin Tizzard-trained Lostintranslation are other big players.

McCain said: “He doesn’t want the ground like this but for a Flat-bred horse he does seem to go through it. It’s keeping him sound, anyway.

“He’s won there before so you’d like to think he has an obvious chance.

“He’s in the Betfair Hurdle and we’d like to keep him sound for the spring as he will improve for better ground.

“No matter how heavy is it at Haydock they do seem to get through it, the hurdle track especially.”

The Altcar Novices’ Chase has attracted a disappointing field of three, with McCain sending Testify into battle.

Unbeaten in two over fences at the minimum trip, he is related to strong stayer Wymott so should be unfazed by an extra half a mile.

“I was surprised Testify won over two miles first time out but he looks sure to be suited by further,” said the Cholmondeley handler.

“He might only be up against two (Lake View Lad and Positively Dylan) but they are good yardsticks and both have more experience than him.

“If he can get into a rhythm then he does look the up-and-comer, but his jumping will be tested.”