Horses To Follow » Next Destination

Next Destination

Next Destination put up a really encouraging performance on his first run back in the Bet365 West Yorkshire Hurdle. His jumping was very good for a horse who had been off the track for so long, and he travelled really well. He came under pressure when they quickened at the top of the home straight, and he got caught a little flat-footed, but he came back on the bridle on the run to the third last flight. A mistake at that obstacle didn’t help, but he picked up well after that. He couldn’t go with Roksana, which was understandable, she is a classy mare and she was very strong in the market, and he was conceding the 7lb mares’ allowance to her. But he still stayed on well to take second place in front of last season’s Ultima Chase runner-up Kildisart and last season’s Stayers’ Hurdle winner Lisnagar Oscar.

This was Next Destination’s first run for Paul Nicholls, and it was his first run since he won the Grade 1 three-mile novices’ hurdle at the 2018 Punchestown Festival for Willie Mullins. He beat Delta Work by a neck that day, with the Albert Bartlett Hurdle winner Kilbricken Storm another neck back in third. He had won the Grade 1 Lawlor’s of Naas Hurdle earlier in his novice season, and he had finished third behind Samcro in the Ballymore Hurdle at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival. He has obviously had his issues in the meantime, but this was a really nice comeback run, and he obviously retains lots of latent ability. He would be an exciting staying novice chaser, or he could take a high rank among the top staying hurdlers this season.

Wetherby, 31st October 2020