Trainer Paul Nicholls has confirmed Next Destination is likely to run in the Hampton Novices’ Chase at Warwick next time out.
The nine-year-old, owned by Malcolm Denmark, is unbeaten over fences so far but faces a race against time to be ready for the Cheltenham Festival.
Nicholls is considering the three-mile Grade Two race on January 16 at Warwick, following his winning debut over timber at Newbury in November.
That run was his second for Nicholls since leaving Willie Mullins’ stable and the British trainer believes he needs the run at Warwick in order to be ready for the RSA Novices’ Chase.
He told reporters: “The plan is to run Next Destination in the Grade Two novice chase at Warwick later this month.
“It was a good start he made over fences at Newbury, but I didn’t want to take him to Kempton in the Kauto Star Boxing Day – I was conscious with the problems he has had of him switching from the grass to the bits of all-weather at Kempton.
“I’m keen to get one run into him before going for what was the RSA and timing-wise, Warwick works out well.
“He is fragile, but he has had a nice bit of time since his last run, and he did a good piece of work the other morning.
“Hopefully he can keep on progressing.”