Twiston-Davies opts to ride The New One
Paul Nicholls has announced that Sam Twiston-Davies will ride The New One in the Stan James Champion Hurdle and Saphir Du Rheu in the Ryanair World Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Twiston-Davies faced a tricky decision, with Nicholls' Old Guard making great strides on the Champion Hurdle scene this season - choosing to partner him over The New One, which is trained by his father Nigel, in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.
That was the first time he had not ridden The New One in his career, but the pair were back together for a win at Haydock in January and he has stayed loyal.
His World Hurdle choice was more complicated with Aux Ptits Soins not having run since landing last season's Coral Cup while Saphir Du Rheu, runner-up last year, has had a mixed season. However, the jockey has gone for Andy Stewart's Saphir Du Rheu, after he impressed in a weekend gallop.
"I was thrilled by the way Saphir Du Rheu and Aux Ptits Soins worked together at Kempton," Nicholls said. "They showed they are bang on course for the World Hurdle."
As a result, Nicholls' No 2 Nick Scholfield will now partner Old Guard in the Champion and Aux Ptits Soins in the World Hurdle.
Meanwhile, Victoria Pendleton was at Nicholls' Ditcheat stables yesterday morning, gaining further valuable experience ahead of her key race at Wincanton tomorrow.
The dual Olympic cycling champion is due to ride the Stewart-owned Pacha Du Polder in the Betfair Switching Saddles Hunters' Chase after unseating when the horse was odds-on favourite at Fakenham earlier this month.
England's champion trainer was satisfied with the schooling session and reiterated a decision will be made on Cheltenham after the race.
"Everything went well when she schooled the horse at Ditcheat," stated Nicholls. "We will all sit down and make a decision after the race on Wednesday about her participation in the Foxhunters at Cheltenham."