Canyon snaps up chance
Willie Mullins added another Grade One prize to his collection when Nichols Canyon won the Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse in impressive style.
But it was a bittersweet result for the champion trainer as the much-anticipated debut of Allez Colombieres ended prematurely when he was pulled up early on by Ruby Walsh with what subsequently turned out to be a fatal pelvic injury.
With the evens favourite out of the contest, former John Gosden-trained dual Listed winner Nichols Canyon (7-2) took full advantage, clearing away going to the final flight and winning by five lengths despite a clumsy leap.
Paul Townend rode the winner, who was following on from his jumps debut victory at Cork and was quoted at 12-1 for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle by BetVictor, while Boylesports go 14-1 and Paddy Power 16-1.
Townend said: "He did it nicely. No one likes to see a horse like Allez Colombieres pulling up, but he was a deserved winner.
"He was a good Flat horse and stays well. On the whole he jumped better than he did in Cork. He's learning and I think he has an engine as well."
Mullins said: "His jumping has improved as he was untidy the last day. Paul said there was plenty left in the tank if anything came to him.
"He'll go the normal two-mile route and will probably run next at Leopardstown after Christmas."
The trainer initially spoke of his hopes that the injury to Allez Colombieres might not be too serious, but that proved not to be the case.