Horse racing news Monday 18th December 2017

It was a decent weekend at Triple G Towers with two nice priced winners in the shape of Irish Roe at 4-1 and My Tent Or Yours at 5’s. It’s a quiet week this week as we head towards the Festive period though there are some big races on Saturday to look forward to it is mainly all about the races on Boxing Day and the days following now. There is the possibility of a couple of punts to be had before Christmas and you will, of course, hear about them here on Girdys Gee Gees first.

In the news crack two-mile chaser Douvan will miss the rest of the season, trainer Willie Mullins has announced. The Rich Ricci-owned seven-year-old has not been seen since losing his unbeaten record over fences in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March. He had been set to reappear in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown earlier this month but was not declared, with Mullins reporting he had not been totally happy with him in the days before the race, opting instead to wait for a possible run at Leopardstown over Christmas. However, it was revealed on Sunday that connections have now decided to miss the entire campaign.

Mullins told Press Association Sport: "It's disappointing news, but we are taking a very conservative approach to his recovery, so this season is on hold. Our veterinary team will come back to us after the weekend to see what we need to do to help his recovery. He is young enough to come back to his best."

Ricci's racing manager Joe Chambers said: "As Willie has said, we'll take a conservative approach and that's him done for the season and we'll try to get him right for next year."

On a happier note Next Destination boosted his reputation in running out an authoritative winner of the Navan Novice Hurdle at the County Meath course.

The Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old staked a strong claim for honours at Cheltenham in March, as he backed up his hurdling debut success at Naas five weeks ago to take Grade Two honours in some style. Half The Odds made the running from Cracking Smart, but the complexion of the race changed two out when Poli Roi went to the front. His effort proved short lived, however, as David Mullins delivered Next Destination with his bid and the 10-11 favourite went on to score by five and a half lengths. Cracking Smart got his second wind to take second place. Next Destination was cut to 11-2 from 10-1 for the Ballymore Properties Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival with Paddy Power.

The winning rider was clearly impressed. He said: "I was amazed at how he picks up out of nowhere. You would think you were nearly falling asleep a bit. He missed the second-last and I just got after him a bit, and he picked up two or three gears. He's won well at the line, but I think there is plenty to come still with him. He has the right mentality for a good trip, but he picks up when you ask him. The second you want him, he's there."