The John Joseph Murphy trained nine-year-old proved too strong for better-fancied rivals Macs Joy and Harchibald when posting an authoritative display in the Red Mills Trial Hurdle.
“There’s not a bother on him this morning and he’s out in his field having a ball,” explained Murphy yesterday.
“He was very good yesterday and he’s a better horse this year, there’s no doubt about that. The lads have been saying it since the autumn and he just feels stronger and he’s settling better too.
“He fought off Macs Joy and he’s a real relentless galloper – he’ll just gallop until he drops.”
Newmill was cut to 7-2 by Coral and William Hill to successfully defend his Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase crown at Cheltenham after Saturday’s morale-boosting triumph.
Murphy is mindful that the two-mile showpiece is developing into a hot renewal, but feels his charge merits the utmost respect.
“He’ll go straight to Cheltenham now and we’ll be schooling him this week. It looks a good race but he has to have a chance there,” he added.