ONES TO WATCH AT NAVAN
18 December 2017
The Willie Mullins-trained NEXT DESTINATION (IRE) made it
two from two over hurdles when justifying favouritism in the Grade 2 Navan Novice
Hurdle on Sunday. Last season’s Champion Bumper fourth made an impressive start
to his hurdle career last month, winning by 13 lengths at Naas, and was
stepping up to two and a half miles for the first time at the weekend.
The trip, heavy ground and a slight mistake at the third
last were not enough to stop the talented five-year-old, who regained the lead
at the final hurdle. David Mullins drove him clear to win by five and a half
lengths, as Listed winner Cracking Smart chased him home.
Owned by Malcolm Denmark and bred by Niall Flynn, NEXT
DESTINATION (IRE) sold to Castleby Farm for €9,500 at the Tattersalls Ireland
November NH Sale. The son of Dubai Destination is a grandson of Irish Champion
Bumper second Blazing Liss (IRE), who was also twice a Listed winner over
hurdles. They come from the family of multiple Grade 1 winner Liss A Paoraigh
The final race on the Navan card, the Listed “Future
Champions’ Bumper, looked to have an apt winner in favourite, RAPID ESCAPE(IRE). Successful on his two previous starts, he registered his most impressive
performance to date, winning by all of 11 lengths under Lisa O’Neill. Carrying
top weight as the only male in a field of five, he was chased home by Lady
Ischia (IRE), who raced home 13 lengths clear of the third horse.
The Gigginstown House-owned five-year-old gained his first
success in a four-year-old maiden at Tinahely, which he took by ten lengths. He
had been bought my Aidan O’Ryan for €48,000 at the Goffs Land Rover Sale,
having previously sold as a foal to Rathmore Stud for €17,000 at the
Tattersalls Ireland November NH Sale.
RAPID ESCAPE (IRE) was bred by Stephen Dowling out of the
Presenting mare Kenzie (IRE), herself a half-sister to Listed winner and Grade
1 third Chauvinist (IRE). He is by King George winner Doyen (IRE), who commands
a fee of €5,000 at Sunnyhill Stud, which opens as part of the ITM Irish
Stallion Trail in January (learn more here).