GLOUCESTERSHIRE trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies enjoyed a big-race double at Haydock on Saturday with Champion Hurdle regular The New One and RSA Chase hope Bristol De Mai.

He hardly set the world alight, but The New One will at least be heading into a rematch with champion Faugheen with a confidence-boosting win under his belt after repeating his success of 12 months ago in the Champion Hurdle Trial.

Last season Twiston-Davies' pride and joy was put in his place by the Willie Mullins' battalion in the Champion Hurdle – but the Naunton handler insists The New One will arrive at this year's Cheltenham Festival in much better shape, barring accidents.

Rayvin Black, ridden by former Farmor’s School (Fairford) pupil Tom Garner, made the 16-times winner pull out all the stops in desperately heavy ground, but eventually the 8-13 favourite won by two and a quarter lengths under Sam Twiston-Davies.

The winning trainer said: "He was much better this year. He jumped straight, in fact that was probably as well as he's ever jumped.

"He'll be going to Cheltenham in better form this year. It was a struggle with his feet (last year), he did all his prep in the swimming pool. We were still only beaten by eight lengths and I'm hoping with a straight run at it we can be more competitive.

"It's hard for any horse to be impressive in that ground, it blunts acceleration, which is his strong suit.

"He's given 8lb to a horse rated 146, I don't think that's bad form on ground he hates. He'll be better in March."

Winning jockey Sam Twiston-Davies said: "Happy, but as always with this race we're not coming out fully delighted, but there's a bit to work on yet."

On the Champion Hurdle, in which The New One was fifth 12 months ago and third in 2014, he added: "Obviously Faugheen is very, very good but second, third, fourth – the crumbs are very tasty ones.”

Twiston-Davies senior had more to smile about after Bristol De Mai (7-4) strolled to victory in the Start Your RacingUK Free Trial Now Novices' Chase.

Connections are now considering the RSA Chase as well as the JLT in March.

From some way out the only danger was Amore Alato but with two to jump he was running on empty, allowing Bristol De Mai to coast to a 32-length win under Daryl Jacob.

"He's won very well and he handles that bad ground well," said Twiston-Davies. "We're thinking a trip is what he needs, seeing him win like that.

"He won't have an Arkle entry now and he'll be in the JLT and RSA. He jumps great and will go straight to Cheltenham.”