Another season of top-level hurdling awaits The New One after he successfully returned to his now familiar starting point at Kempton.
Not as visually impressive as in the previous williamhill.com Hurdle, when he blew away the former champion hurdler Rock On Ruby, Nigel Twiston-Davies' 2/11 favourite fluffed the final flight this time around but picked up handily on the run-in to come two and a quarter lengths away from Hint Of Mint.
Last year's victory led The New One to later finish an unlucky-looking third in the Champion Hurdle and gain another major prize at Aintree, and Twiston-Davies is already picking out a path towards those spring festivals.
"Let's hope he keeps going, he'll be a lot better later on," said Twiston-Davies snr, who confirmed it was part of the agreement of his son's departure to Paul Nicholls' stable that he kept the ride.
"Luckily it was a weak race, but I'm chuffed to bits. That was just what we needed.
"They've put on a new race at Haydock (November 22) that we'll look at, then December at Cheltenham (International).
"If everything goes well he could come back here at Christmas."