Another reminder of what a great loss to the National Hunt stallion ranks is King’s Theatre was provided on Saturday with the facile victory of The New One in the Grade 2 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick.
In a race won in the past by such names as subsequent Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle winner No Refuge and Hennessy hero Carruthers, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained five-year-old took a commanding lead in the back straight and ran home unchallenged with the lightly raced Kayf Tara mare Mickie 16 lengths behind him in second.
The New One, who is the first foal of the Listed-placed hurdler Thuringe (Turgeon) and races in the colours of Sarah Such, has now won six of his seven starts and is unbeaten in three hurdles starts. He has had to chase rivals home only once in his career when finishing sixth behind Champagne Fever in the Champion Bumper at last season’s Cheltenham Festival.
Bred in partnership by R Brown and Ballylinch Stud, the home of King’s Theatre until his death in 2010, The New One changed hands in the ring at Fairyhouse three times before joining Twiston-Davies’s Naunton yard, selling for €9,500 as a foal, €26,000 as a yearling and €25,000 at three.
The progeny of Racing Post Trophy and King George winner King’s Theatre have been a dominant force over jumps in recent seasons, their exploits earning champion National Hunt sire status for the former Ballylinch Stud resident in the last two years. His offspring include last season’s Festival winners Riverside Theatre, Voler La Vedette and the ill-fated Brindisi Breeze, while other top performers by the son of Sadler’s Wells are Menorah, Cue Card, Captain Chris and Fingal Bay. On the Flat he has been represented by multiple Grade 2 winner in America, King’s Drama, and the Group 3 scorer and 12-time winner Young Mick.
King’s Theatre has been succeeded on the Ballylinch jumps roster by another son of Sadler’s Wells, Beat Hollow, the sire of Cheltenham Festival winner Cinders And Ashes.