The Malcolm Demark owned Next Destination keeps his unbeaten tag with a gritty performance at Naas racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

 The Willie Mullins trained horse was Fourth in last season’s Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, the exciting six-year-old made an impressive debut over hurdles at this venue in November and followed up in similarly impressive style in the Grade Two Navan Novice Hurdle last month.

He was a priced up as a warm order  8/15  favourite to complete his hat-trick in a Grade One contest his trainer had won five times in the last eight renewals, and while it was not as straightforward as many punters were expecting, as he seem to back peddle close home though he evidently grinded out the victory in the hands of jockey Paul Townend.

Townend insisted : “From the day he won his maiden here he was exciting and thankfully he’s gone and done it again.

“It’s tough work out there and it was a messy enough race. I’d say his ability got him home.

“I thought we’d go a bit quicker, to be honest, and I just wanted to keep it as simple as I could.

“He jumped electric and was tough when I needed him.

“He seems to be improving and growing up. Hopefully it’s onward and upwards.”

The eyecatcher of the race was the winner’s stablemate Duc Des Genievres, who travelled ominously, well giving the impression next time out he is expected to produce the goods and looks like a lively Cheltenham contender for the champion trainer.