Numerically last season was Nigel Twiston-Davies’s best since 2011-12, but what was more impressive was the calibre of horse he won races with.
The trainer has made a strong start to the new season and is unleashing some of his biggest names this weekend at Wetherby. Here he speaks about their prospects.
Let’s start with The New One. Were you pleased with his win in the Welsh Champion Hurdle?
Absolutely delighted. I don’t know why, as it’s only a number, but we’re getting quite excited about him getting to the million pound mark. I’m chuffed to bits with him.
Do you feel he has been able to achieve everything possible in his career?
He was unlucky not to win his first Champion Hurdle and hasn’t probably been good enough to win one since. Still, he’s good enough to win an awful lot of good races.
Looking to the future, Wholestone is an exciting running in the West Yorkshire Hurdle. How do you rate his chance?
He ran a good race on his comeback and he’ll improve for the extra distance at Wetherby. All should be fine for him to produce his best. He’s very young and he will improve all the time, I hope.
You run two in the Charlie Hall Chase. Is there much between them?
The softer the better for Bristol De Mai and Blaklion doesn’t mind what it is. I’d say there’s nothing between the pair of them at all. They’re nearly the same rating and both have a good chance.
Blaklion ran a cracker to be fourth in the Grand National. Is that his main aim again?
Yes. He’ll go for the Becher Chase next, hopefully, and back to Aintree in the spring again for the Grand National. He was very, very good over the fences last season.
Ballyandy was a star for you last season. What did you make of his chasing debut?
He ran really well. I don’t know which race he’ll be aimed at when it comes to Cheltenham, we’ll have to see how it goes through the season. He’s a talented horse.
Ballykan and Ballycross run in the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot. Which do you fancy?
I wouldn’t want to try and split them. They’re very closely matched on form and handicap rating so I hope they both run really well and are involved in the finish.
The quality of horse in your yard seems very high at the minute. You must be pleased?
Yes, we have got a lot of very nice horses so happy days! Everybody’s always trying to find the good horses, that’s why we do this job. None of them have been expensive so it’s been very pleasing to see what they’ve been capable of doing.
And, finally, you got 95 winners last season. Can you hit a century this time around?
I’m not worried about numbers at all. As long as we have a lot of winners in the right races that would be all I’d want from the season.