sport

Special One set for Aintree

The New One will attempt to go one better than 12 months ago in the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle on Thursday.

Nigel Twiston-Davies' stable star was badly hampered by the fatal fall of Our Conor at Cheltenham, but the way he flashed home up the hill suggested he would have played a part in the finish.

The New One was narrowly beaten by Zarkandar as a novice in this race last season and Twiston-Davies and his jockey-son, Sam, will be hoping for a bit more fortune.

Taking him on is former champion hurdler Rock On Ruby after connections decided to put a chasing career on the back-burner following an error-strewn round of jumping in the Arkle.

Another reverting to the smaller obstacles is Nicky Henderson's Grandouet.

With Zarkandar likely to take up on option on Saturday in the Silver Cross Stayers' Hurdle, Paul Nicholls instead relies upon Irish Saint and Ptit Zig in the two-and-a-half-mile contest.

Willie Mullins had Hurricane Fly and Annie Power entered but instead saddles Diakali, who ran such a game race to finish fourth under top weight in the County Hurdle.

Alan King's Grumeti, winner of the Grade One four-year-old juvenile hurdle at the meeting two years ago, completes the field of seven.