Next Destination heads a field of eight for Sunday’s Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle
A top class field of eight runners will go to post for Sunday’s Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle with leading Cheltenham Festival fancy Next Destination heading the line up.
Ireland’s first Grade 1 race of 2018 has attracted a stellar crop of novice hurdlers with Grade 2 winner Next Destination being joined by his highly regraded stable companion Duc Des Genievres who makes his first start for champion trainer Willie Mullins since joining from France.
Mullins said; “Bringing Next Destination back to Naas has been the plan for some time. He is a horse that has improved hugely this season and we were very impressed with him when he won his maiden hurdle at Naas in November. We won the race two years ago with Bellshill, it is just really well placed in the calendar just after Christmas and it suits horses that are probably going along the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle road at Cheltenham. It has got a really nice position in the calendar.”
The Joseph O’Brien-trained Speak Easy will put his unbeaten record on the line when stepping up to Grade 1 level for just his second racecourse start while leading owner Gigginstown House Stud have three runners in the race. The Gordon Elliott pair of Grade 1 bumper winner Blow By Blow and the highly touted Cracking Smart will carry the famous maroon and white silks alongside the Noel Meade-trained Athenean. Meade is also represented by impressive two-time hurdle winner Moyross and the field is completed by the Jessica Harrington-trained Jetz.
Meade said; “Moyross has been good over hurdles at Galway and Cork but going back in trip would be the one worry we have as three miles probably suits him better but it is going to be heavy ground which will suit him and Athenean is in good form and we are happy with him. Two and a half miles would look like a trip that will suit him.”
The first of a seven race card begins at 12.40pm on Sunday.
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For further information, contact Jackie Donohoe, Naas Racecourse on 045 897391 or email [email protected]