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Defy campaign meets premature end

Paul Nolan has been forced to rule out his top-class novice chaser Defy Logic for the rest of the season.

The seven-year-old was an impressive winner of the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, beating subsequent Irish Arkle victor Trifolium and current Arkle Trophy favourite Champagne Fever.

He was sent off favourite for the Irish Arkle, but was beaten some way out and it later transpired he had broken a blood vessel.

"He's out for the season I'm afraid," said Nolan.

"He broke a blood vessel and we decided it's best to leave him off for the rest of this season and give him plenty of time to recover, that was the opinion of everyone.

"He's only a seven-year-old and he's never done anything like this before.

"He'd need four to five weeks off which would rule out Cheltenham, so we'll come back next year nice and fresh.

"I could tell he wasn't happy from the start on Sunday, yet before the race I thought he was perfect. It's unfortunate but there you go.

"We'll just look forward to next season with him now."

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