1.45 Naas: Grade 1 Novice Hurdle, 2m 4f
No Samcro in the race makes the task on hand for Next Destination somewhat easier. One would think so, at least. A brilliant Grade 2 Navan Novice Hurdle winner, comes here with plenty of positive experience.
He created a big impression on a number of occasions now. A fine bumper horse last season, he proves even better over hurdles. 2/2 now, overcoming a slight fright at at the third last but came back on the bridle and putting the race to bet in impressive style.
He’s the clear favourite on anything we know. What we don’t know yet, how much upside does the Joseph O’Brien trained Speak Easy has to offer?
He landed a maiden hurdle when debuting under rules at Navan last month. Clearly green and not quite sure what to do, he made Mark Walsh work a bit throughout and missed a couple of jumps.
However the way he made progress and motored home without ever being really touched, in a maiden hurdle that looks like solid form, is something to take note of.
Connections decided against the Tolworth and rather opted to come to Naas. They will hope he has learned plenty the other day. He’ll have to be a fast learner if he wants to trouble the favourite.
However in his favour is the step up in trip. 2m 4f should suit much better than 2m. Given how good Speak Easy already looked when showing plenty signs of inexperience, one can only imagine how much more he can bring to the table if understanding more of what his job is.
Interesting side fact: Speak Easy has achieved the highest time speed rating in the field so far. Not always an indicator for success, nonetheless the fact Next Destination hasn’t run better than 109 yet, is another small piece in the puzzle that let me come to the conclusion that there is potentially less between these two than the market suggests.
It is hard to see anyone else from the field having a realistic say in the outcome of the race. So at 11/2 it is impossible for me to not back Speak Easy. Maybe Next Destionation is the better horse and can use his experience to full extend – however on pure price reasons, I feel Speak Easy has a better than 16% chance to win.
10pts win – Speak Easy @ 11/2 Bet365