It's a quiet weekend for Paul Nicholls who will saddle just three runners at Warwick on Saturday, but there's a reason for that as the Betfair Ambassador explains...
"Next Destination was a Grade 1 winner over hurdles in Ireland, is progressing steadily, will relish the testing conditions and is in tip top shape."
- Paul Nicholls on Next Destination
Only the three runners this Saturday so you would be right in thinking we are a little quite but 75% of our horses had their flu jab a fortnight ago and will be ready to run in the next couple of weeks and the 25% that didn't have been ticking over lovely.
It's something I've always done and it works well for us. Next weekend we'll be ramping up again with Ascot and Haydock taking centre stage.
Lots in his favour going into this
He was very good in winning tidily on his debut over fences at Newbury at the end of November and is starting to make up for lost time after being on the sidelines for more than two and a half years. Next Destination was a Grade 1 winner over hurdles in Ireland, is progressing steadily, will relish the testing conditions and is in tip top shape. So I think he must go close in this even though he has to give 5lbs to his two rivals.
Hoping for a much better show if we get a decent gallop
He will love the ground at Warwick no matter how heavy it becomes, and will be much happier going left handed after finishing third in the Ballymore Winter Hurdle at Sandown. Everything went wrong for him there because they crawled and the race turned into a sprint which didn't suit him at all. Given a decent gallop in this competitive Grade 2 Hurdle I am hopeful of a much better show. He is in the mix.
Expecting a decent run
We have an exciting bunch of bumper horses this season and Gold Bullion is another who is giving us the right signals at home. He is a nice individual, has a great pedigree being by Fame and Glory from the family of Crystal D'Ainay and I am expecting a decent run from him though he he will learn for the experience.