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11th December 2021 Cheltenham

By Graham Clark

Guard Your Dreams evoked memories of trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies’ former stable stalwart The New One when securing the biggest success of his career with a battling victory in the Unibet International Hurdle.

Having saddled The New One to victory in the Grade Two prize on three occasions (2013, 2014 and 2016) the Naunton handler claimed the race for a fifth time after the five year old bounced back from his last time out defeat at Ascot.

Although faced with work to do on official ratings, the Fame And Glory gelding resumed his progression under regular rider Sam Twiston-Davies when mastering a field which included last year’s winner Song For Someone and Sceau Royal.

After getting the better of Hunters Call over the last the 5-1 chance was then faced with a late challenge from Song For Someone, but the line came in time for Guard Your Dreams who prevailed by a hard fought half a length.

Nigel Twiston-Davies, who also saddled Khyber Kim to glory in the 2009 renewal, said: “The New One won this three times and Ballyandy was unfortunately beaten a few times only just giving weight to good horses. I’m very pleased to be back here again.

“We’ve had a second in the novice chase and we would have been happy with a second here but he was good enough to win. We are trying to help the racecourses and pick up the prize money.

“According to the handicapper we couldn’t win but we did. He is a nice young horse that is improving and Sceau Royal and that are just getting a bit older.

“We will definitely look at the race at Haydock (Champion Hurdle Trial) – but the Champion Hurdle? I think the Irish will have the say in that but we will think about it.

“He just toughed it out and galloped it out to the line. He is very similar to The New One and Ballyandy as they were also big tough triers.”


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