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Willie Mullins bemused by Faugheen Punchestown eclipse

Willie Mullins remains "surprised" by Faugheen's defeat by stablemate Nichols Canyon in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown on Sunday.

The Champion Hurdle hero was sent off the 1-6 favourite in a field of five to stretch his 100 per cent record but could not get to grips with Nichols Canyon in the closing stages and went down by half a length.

Mullins saddled the first three home in the Grade One, with Wicklow Brave just a length and a quarter back in third, yet the County Carlow handler is still scratching his head at Faugheen's shock defeat.

"The three of them have come out of the race well. We're happy with them," said Mullins.

"We won't know if we have underestimated Nichols Canyon until his next run but we could easily have.

"Nothing's come to light. Looking at Faugheen's work last week we couldn't see Faugheen being beaten by Nichols Canyon.

"It was a surprise. Maybe the work just brought on Nichols Canyon more than Faugheen.

"They will just all be well entered up and we'll make a plan in the next week or two."

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