This Saturday other races took more of the spotlight but the 3 mile, Grade 2 bet365 Hurdle gave us some serious early clues for March’s Stayers Hurdle.
Roksana produced a dominant eight length success to ensure the Skelton trained favourite ensured her Cheltenham credentials were on display. After such a convincing success the bookmakers have reacted accordingly to shorten her odds from 33/1 to around 14/1 for the third day festival showpiece.
Roksana Saturday's Winner
That being said it wasn’t the winner who caught the eye but in fact the second. Next Destination finished strongly to claim the runners up spot and did far better than expected considering he was returning from a 920 day lay off. He wasn’t given a hard race and not only did he have to contend with a mammoth absence but he was also making his debut for new trainer Paul Nicholls.
Many may have forgotten just how good this horse was back in 2018 but he showed glimpses of his former self and with a full campaign likely this term he’s unlikely to be the 33/1 price he is at the moment if he lines up in five months time.
written by Rory Paddock