Irish Champion National Hunt champion trainer Willie Mullins kept up his good record in the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle at Naas Racecourse on Sunday, when Next Destination maintained his unbeaten record over hurdles and justified favouritism under jockey Paul Townend.
Mullins was winning the Naas feature race for a third time since it has been upgraded to top level status and the exciting novice Next Destination travelled strongly throughout before holding off the effort of Cracking Smart by a length with another Mullins runner, Duc Des Genievres, running a notable race on his Irish debut to finish third.
After the race, the winning trainer said: “It’s nice to win this race again and Next Destination is improving all the time. His jumping held up under pressure and I was very happy with that and we were very pleased with the performance.
“It was a Grade 1 and they started racing from the third last hurdle but he was in front far enough out to withstand the late challenge of the runner-up. We will see how he comes out of it but I’d imagine that we’ll look to find a race at the Dublin Racing Festival if it doesn’t come too soon for him and he looks like a Ballymore or an Albert Bartlett horse for Cheltenham. I think in a stronger run race he could run in either of those races at Cheltenham.”