One digs deep for Twiston-Davies

The New One repelled the persistent challenges of Rock On Ruby and Diakali in a thrilling climax to the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle.

Sent off the 4-9 favourite to gain compensation for a luckless run in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, The New One moved up ominously at the top of the home straight in the hands of Sam Twiston-Davies, son of trainer Nigel.

Rock On Ruby put up a brave effort, however, while Diakali came from further back in the hands of Tony McCoy.

The New One looked to be holding both at bay as he raced towards the stands side, but as the line approached, his two challengers on the other side of the track were bridging the gap and the trio passed the post almost as one.

The photo-finish showed The New One had prevailed by a head, with Rock On Ruby just second ahead of Diakali.

Sam Twiston-Davies said: "He was hit and miss, jumping wise. I didn't quite get into the same rhythm as I did in the Champion Hurdle.

"I was surprised to see two (horses) on my inside at the line.

"He probably had a hard enough race (at Cheltenham) which took off some sparkle, but you can't underestimate how good a performance that was.

"He's a classy horse."