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Nichols Canyon: Willie Mullins trained novice hurdler

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  • Old Vic
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  • Old Vic
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    GRAHAM WYLIE'S FIVE CHELTENHAM HORSES TO FOLLOW


    NICHOLS CANYON

    (Neptune Novices’ Hurdle, Wednesday March 11, 4-1)

    “He’s been excellent all season, and it’s just a shame he stepped on that hurdle over Christmas (at Leopardstown) because that’s the only blemish on his record. He would have won three Grade Ones if that hadn’t happened.

    “He’s still a double Grade One winner though, and if he jumps well, Ruby says he has tonnes of stamina. He’ll run in the Neptune, and he’s got a great chance.

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    Donn

    There was a lot to like about the performance that Nichols Canyon put up in landing the Deloitte Hurdle. Ruby Walsh bounced the Mullins-trained gelding out and he never saw another rival. It was obvious from well before the home turn that he wasn’t for catching and, while Windsor Park put up a valiant effort, it never looked likely that Dermot Weld’s horse would bridge the gap.

    The last two winners of this race, Champagne Fever and Vautour, both Willie Mullins horses, went to Cheltenham and won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, and Nichols Canyon is exciting again now. A dual Listed winner for John Gosden on the Flat, and rated 111 in that sphere, he was impressive in landing the Grade One Royal Bond Hurdle on his second run for Mullins, and Sunday's display consigned his mishap in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle over Christmas to the annals.

    It was interesting that Ruby Walsh said afterwards that he was shaping more like a staying horse than a two-miler. That makes sense, because he won a Listed race over almost two miles on heavy ground on the Flat, and Graham Wylie said that, when he bought him, he was thinking Inglis Drever.

    It does present connections with a little bit of a Cheltenham conundrum, however, because Andrea and Graham Wylie also have Shaneshill, who was a top-class bumper horse last year, but whose two races over hurdles thus far have been over two and a half miles. Like Nichols Canyon now, he was shaping more like a Neptune Novices' Hurdle horse than a Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle horse. He could be the one to step back to two miles for the Supreme, however. Like his stable companion, he does not lack pace.

    The Wylie/Mullins axis also have Black Hercules, another top bumper horse last season, but a point-to-point winner who won a Grade Three novices’ hurdle on heavy ground at Limerick over Christmas over three miles. He is surely their Albert Bartlett horse. These are good conundrums.

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    Paddy Power are best price about him for Neptune and shortest for the Supreme. Shaneshill might be Wylies Neptune horse.

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  • Old Vic
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  • mayo
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    Walsh said: "Nichols Canyon won the Deloitte Novice Hurdle, which rode a good race. They went a good gallop and he was keen enough, but he jumped super and he quickened up well, and saw out the trip.

    "Which race he will run in at the festival, I don't know but Graham Wylie also owns Shaneshill and Black Hercules so a discussion has to be had about where they all have the best chance of winning."

    Nichols Canyon is 10-1 for the Supreme, 7-1 for the Neptune and 14-1 for the Albert Bartlett, and Walsh added: "I think he is likely to be over two miles to two and half - he stayed well on Sunday, but I can't see three miles."

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  • Old Vic
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  • mayo
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    Wins a another Grade1

    Wylie hoping he can be another Ingils Drever ...Neptune rather than Suoreme ?

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  • Old Vic
    started a topic Nichols Canyon: Willie Mullins trained novice hurdler

    Nichols Canyon: Willie Mullins trained novice hurdler

    Royal Bond 2014

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