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Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle
Grade 1, Cheltenham 15:30
£300,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 7f 213y, Class 1  
Thursday 15th March 2017


1 Nichols Canyon 10/1
2 Lil Rockerfeller 33/1
3 Unowhatimeanharry 5/6F
12 ran
NR: Dedigout, The New One, Un Temps Pour Tout, Yanworth
Distances: ¾l, 3½l, 3½l
Time: 5m 49.60s (slow by 8.60s)

Nichols Canyon gives Mullins and Walsh a day three treble, taking the Stayers' Hurdle from Lil Rockerfelller

Nichols Canyon
© Caroline Norris
Nichols Canyon

Trainer Willie Mullins registered his first success in the Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle and along with jockey Ruby Walsh, gained his third victory of the day at the Cheltenham Festival, after Nichols Canyon ran out a game 10/1 winner of the three-mile hurdling showpiece, the feature race on day three.

In a superb finish to the Grade One event, Walsh and the seven-year-old son of Authorized kept on resolutely up the stands' side rail to get the better of Neil King's ultra-consistent Lil Rockerfeller (33/1) by three-quarters of a length.

The well-backed 5/6 favourite Unowhatimeanharry, trained by Harry Fry, was a further three and a half-lengths back in third.

A delighted Mullins, registering his 51st winner at The Festival, said: "It was some performance. I didn't think three miles would suit him particularly as I thought he would be too keen, but Ruby got him settled and got the rail in the home straight.

"He is tough and with age they learn to settle. His last bit of work, we changed his stable and his work rider. He always works a bit dead at home so we thought about a change of routine and it worked.

"I thought of all the horses in the world you want to jump the last, you want him and he did. He had the benefit of the rail which also helped.

"He has handled very soft ground over two miles but he handled that ground today fine.

"It's absolutely magic. I enjoyed that one, the first two were probably relief but that was a little unexpected as I was wondering whether he would come alive as he hasn't in his two races this season."


Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle
£300,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 7f 213y, Class 1
12 ran
Going: Good to Soft, Good in places

Pos Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Nichols Canyon 10/1 R Walsh
W P Mullins 7
2nd ¾ Lil Rockerfeller (USA) 33/1 T E Whelan
N B King 6
3rd Unowhatimeanharry 5/6f N D Fehily
H Fry 9
4th Cole Harden (IRE) 9/1 G Sheehan
W Greatrex 8
5th 12 Snow Falcon (IRE) 16/1 S W Flanagan
N Meade 7
6th 4 Clondaw Warrior (IRE) 33/1 Ms K Walsh
W P Mullins 10
7th Zarkandar (IRE) 25/1 Harry Cobden
P F Nicholls 10
8th Jezki (IRE) 15/2 R M Power
Mrs J Harrington 9
9th Agrapart (FR) 66/1 Lizzie Kelly
Nick Williams 6
Also Ran: Ballyoptic (IRE) , Shaneshill (IRE) , West Approach
NR Dedigout (IRE) 66/1 B J Cooper
G Elliott 11
NR The New One (IRE) 14/1 Non Runner N A Twiston-Davies 9
NR Un Temps Pour Tout (IRE) 33/1 Non Runner D Pipe 8
NR Yanworth 10/1 Non Runner A King 7

Mathematician Betting


Nichols Canyon gave Ruby Walsh a fifth Sun Bet Stayers' Hurdle success - and a third today, snatching victory from 33/1 chance Lil Rockerfeller in the shadow of the post by three quarters of a length at 10/1.

Walsh's four previous wins in the race came aboard the Paul Nicholls-trained Big Buck's (2009-2012).

Walsh, for whom it was a 55th Festival win, said: "Nichols Canyon is a little warrior, isn't he? He switched off, he jumped, and crept away.

"I thought Lil Rockerfeller was battling back close home but Nichols Canyon galloped all the way to the line.

"He started to come back to himself the last 10 days. Maisie has been riding him and she was happy. Katie (sister) rode him at the Curragh the other morning and she thought he worked very well.

"Yesterday morning, whatever way you looked at it, this fella had won seven Grade Ones, albeit at shorter distances. I suppose he will have to go for the Iroquois [the $200,000 TVV Capital Iroquois Cheltenham Challenge, with $500,000 going to any horse who can win both the Sun Bet Stayer's Hurdle and the Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle at Percy Warner Park, Nashville, Tennessee] to see if he can get the bonus. He was third last year.

"It is brilliant for Andrea and Graham. They are great supporters and this is the race Graham likes."

Graham Wylie said: "When Willie bought this horse for me, he said 'I might just have found you the next Inglis Drever [Wylie's Sun Bet Stayers' Hurdle winner in 2005, 2007 and 2008]. This is the little horse's eighth Grade One and he hasn't got the plaudits he deserved; hopefully today he will do.

"I said to Andrea this morning, I hope today is the Willie Mullins-Ruby Walsh day, and so it's proved. I was hoping to get placed, but I saw him coming up the hill and he was absolutely flying, so I thought, 'we might just nick this'."

Horses 468x60 Jpg


33/1 chance Lil Rockerfeller showed what a big heart he has when going down by three-quarters of a length to Nichols Canyon.

The six-year-old gelding, has been second to Unowhatimeanharry in a Grade One and Yanworth in a Grade Two at Ascot this season.

Neil King, the son of Hard Spun's trainer, said: "It is absolutely fantastic. I am over the moon with him. Trevor (Whelan, jockey) has given him the most fantastic ride. It is the best he has jumped and he travelled so well throughout the race today.

"Trevor kept producing him at the right time and then he hit the front at the last. He just got in a little bit close to the last but, to be fair, I don't think that we would have beaten Nichols Canyon. It was a tremendous run.

"It was most disappointing at the time to miss the National Spirit (at Fontwell) but, with hindsight, it was probably a blessing in disguise. He was dull in himself on the morning of the race and not as sparky as he should be.

"Fortunately we left him at home and, with the benefit of hindsight, we couldn't have beaten Camping Ground, who was a machine round there. He would have probably had a hard race in second and would not have been able to come here, so it was a blessing in disguise.

"We knew we had got him in good order, we had done the most brilliant bit of work at Lingfield last Wednesday and then he had a couple of hours out hunting and he has been in cracking form since then.

"I am so proud of him, he is so game and genuine and why he was the price he was today, 33/1, it was an insult to him really.

"The owners have been so supportive and allowed me to do what I thought was best.

"Probably we go to Punchestown next, Aintree just wouldn't suit him as a track, it would be a little bit too sharp."

Whelan added: "I thought I had it won to be fair. Often, when a horse comes to him he digs it out very well. At the end of the day, he was beaten by a multiple Grade One winner. I couldn't fault him, what a horse."



2016 THISTLECRACK 8-11-10 Owner-John & Heather Snook; Trainer-Colin Tizzard; Jockey-Tom Scudamore; SP-Evens Fav
2ND-Alpha Des Obeaux 6-11-10 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Bryan Cooper; SP-8/1
3RD-Bobs Worth 11-11-10 Owner-The Not Afraid Partnership; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-David Bass; SP-33/1
12 ran, Time-5m 42.60s; Dist-7, 22

2015-COLE HARDEN 6-11-10 Owner-Jill & Robin Eynon; Trainer-Warren Greatrex; Jockey-Gavin Sheehan; SP-14/1
2ND-Saphir Du Rheu 6-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Sam Twiston-Davies; SP-5/1 Fav
3RD-Zarkandar 8-11-10 Owner-Chris Giles & Potensis Bloodstock Ltd; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-6/1
16 ran, Time-5m 40.70s; Dist-3¼, 3¼

2014-MORE OF THAT 6-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-15/2
2ND-Annie Power 6-11-03 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/8 Fav
3RD-At Fishers Cross 7-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Rebecca Curtis; Jockey-A P McCoy; SP-9/1
10 ran, Time-5m 49.50s; Dist-1½, 5

2013-WINNER-SOLWHIT 9-11-10 Owner-Top Of The Hill Syndicate; Trainer-Charles Byrnes IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-17/2
2ND-Celestial Halo 9-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP-40/1
3RD-Smad Place 6-11-10 Owner-Mrs Peter Andrews Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Wayne Hutchinson; SP-9/1
13 ran, Time-6m 24.94s; Dist-2½, 3 9/4 Fav Oscar Whisky (PU)

2012-WINNER-BIG BUCK’S 9-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP- 5/6F
2ND-Voler La Vedette 8-11-03 Owner-Mrs M Brophy; Trainer-Colm Murphy IRE; Jockey-Andrew Lynch; SP-20/1
3RD-Smad Place 5-11-10 Owner-Mrs Peter Andrews; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-20/1
11 ran, Time-5m 44.20s; Dist-1¾, 7

2011-WINNER-BIG BUCK’S 8-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP- 10/11F
2ND-Grands Crus 6-11-10 Owner-Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds III; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Tom Scudamore; SP-7/2 3RD-Mourad 6-11-10 Owner Teahon Consulting Limited; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-8/1
13 ran, Time-5m 50.80s; Dist-13⁄4, 23⁄4

2010-WINNER-BIG BUCK’S 7-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nichols; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-5/6 Fav
2ND-Time For Rupert 6-11-10 Owner-Littlecote Racing Partnership; Trainer-Paul Webber; Jockey-Will Kennedy; SP-16/1
3RD-Powerstation 10-11-10 Owner-Fat Frog Syndicate; Trainer-Eamon O’Connell IRE; Jockey-Andrew McNamara; SP-33/1
14 ran, Time-5m 49.40s; Dist-3.25, 11

2009-WINNER-BIG BUCK’S 6-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-6/1
2ND-Punchestowns 6-11-10 Owner-Judy Wilson; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-100/30
3RD-Powerstation 9-11-10 Owner-Fat Frog Syndicate; Trainer-Eamon O’Connell IRE; Jockey-Andrew McNamara; SP-25/1
14 ran, Time 5m 57.00s; Dist 1.75, 17 10/11 Fav Kasbah Bliss (4th)

2008-WINNER-INGLIS DREVER 9-11-10 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Denis O’Regan; SP-11/8 Fav
2ND-Kasbah Bliss 6-11-10 Owner-Henri De Pracomtal; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Christophe Pieux; SP-9/1
3RD-Kazal 7-11-10 Owner- Joseph Comerford; Trainer-Eoin Griffin IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-12/1
17 ran, Time-5m 52.90s; Dist-1, 7

2007-WINNER-INGLIS DREVER 8-11-10 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-5/1
2ND-Mighty Man 7-11-10 Owner-Joss Hanbury; Trainer-Henry Daly; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-100/30
3RD-Blazing Bailey 5-11-10 Owner-Three Line Whip; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-8/1
14 ran, Time-5m 46.50s; Dist-3/4, 4 2/1 Fav Black Jack Ketchum (Fell)

2006-WINNER-MY WAY DE SOLZEN 6-11-10 Owner-B Winfield, A Longman, J Wright & C Fenton; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-8/1
2ND-Golden Cross 7-11-10 Owner-P Johnson; Trainer-Michael Halford IRE; Jockey-Johnny Murtagh; SP-5/1
3RD-Mighty Man 6-11-10 Owner-Joss Hanbury; Trainer-Henry Daly; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-4/1 Fav
20 ran, Time-5m 38.40s; Dist-hd, 4

2005-WINNER-INGLIS DREVER 6-11-10 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-5/1
2ND-Baracouda 10-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-6/5 Fav
3RD-Rule Supreme 9-11-10 Owner-John Fallon; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-David Casey; SP-4/1
12 ran, Time-5m 48.40s; Dist-3, 3/4

2004-WINNER-IRIS’S GIFT 7-11-10 Owner-Robert Lester; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-9/2
2ND-Baracouda 9-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Thierry Doumen; SP-8/11 Fav
3RD-Crystal D’Ainay 5-11-10 Owner-Tony & Jeni Fisher; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-8/1
10 ran, Time-5m 49.80s; Dist-1½, 13

2003-WINNER-BARACOUDA 8-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Thierry Doumen; SP-9/4 Jt Fav
2ND-Iris’s Gift 6-11-10 Owner-Robert Lester; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-7/1
3RD-Limestone Lad 11-11-10 Owner-James Bowe; Trainer-James Bowe IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-9/4 Jt Fav
11 ran, Time-5m 41.25s; Dist- 3/4, 5

2002-WINNER-BARACOUDA 7-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Thierry Doumen; SP-13/8 Fav
2ND-Bannow Bay 7-11-10 Owner-Linda Shanahan and Sue Magnier; Trainer-Christy Roche IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-2/1
3RD-It Takes Time 8-11-10 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-12/1
16 ran, Time-6m 01.70s; Dist-nk, 13

2001 Cancelled

2000-WINNER-BACCHANAL 6-11-10 Owner-Lady Lloyd-Webber; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-11/2
2ND-Limestone Lad 8-11-10 Owner-James Bowe; Trainer-James Bowe IRE; Jockey-Shane McGovern; SP-3/1
3RD-Behrajan 5-11-10 Owner-The Behrajan Partnership; Trainer-Henry Daly; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-8/1
10 ran, Time-5m 36.60s; Dist-1, 3 5/2 Fav Lady Rebecca (6th)

1999-WINNER-ANZUM 8-11-10 Owner-The Old Foresters Partnership; Trainer-David Nicholson; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-40/1
2ND-Le Coudray 5-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-2/1 Jt-Fav
3RD-Lady Rebecca 7-11-05 Owner-Kinnersley Optimists; Trainer-Venetia Williams; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-3/1
12 ran, Time-5m 51.7s; Dist-nk, 2½ 2/1 Jt-Fav Deano’s Beeno (9th)

1998-WINNER-PRINCEFUL 7-11-10 Owner-Robert Hitchins; Trainer-Jenny Pitman; Jockey-Rodney Farrant; SP-16/1
2ND-Splendid Thyne 6-11-10 Owner-John Glavanoni; Trainer-Terry Casey; Jockey-Warren Marston; SP-10/1
3RD-Ocean Hawk 6-11-10; Owner-Matt Archer & Jean Broadhurst; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Carl Llewellyn; SP-5/1 9 ran, Time-5m 45.9s; Dist-2, 4 6/4 Fav Paddy’s Return (5th)

1997-WINNER-KARSHI 7-11-10 Owner-Lord Vestey; Trainer-Henrietta Knight; Jockey-Jamie Osborne; SP-20/12ND-Anzum 6-11-10 Owner-The Old Foresters Partnership; Trainer-David Nicholson; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-25/1
3RD-Paddy’s Return 5-11-10 Owner-Paddy O’Donnell; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Richard Hughes; SP-20/1
17 ran, Time-5m 43.9s, Dist-2½, 2 9/2 Fav Escartefigue (5th)

1996-WINNER-CYBORGO 6-11-10 Owner-County Stores (Somerset) Ltd; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-David Bridgwater; SP-8/1
2ND-Mysilv 6-11-05 Owner-Elite Racing Club; Trainer-Charlie Egerton; Jockey-Jimmy McCarthy; SP-16/1
3RD-What A Question 8-11-05 Owner-Joy Valentine; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-33/1
19 ran, Time-5m 47.3s, Dist-3/4, 10 4/1 Fav Derrymoyle (4th)


(Ladbrokes World Hurdle from 2005, bonusprint.com Stayers’ Hurdle 2004, Bonusprint Stayers’ Hurdle 1991-2003, Waterford Crystal Stayers’ Hurdle 1978-90, Lloyds Bank Hurdle 1972-77)

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
1995 Dorans Pride 6-11-10 Shane Broderick Michael Hourigan IRE Tom Doran 11/4F 11
1994 Balasani 8-11-10 Mark Perrett Martin Pipe Mark Smith 9/2JF 14
1993 Shuil Ar Aghaidh7-11-05 Charlie Swan Paddy Kiely IRE Mrs Paddy Kiely 20/1 12
1992 Nomadic Way 7-11-10 Jamie Osborne Barry Hills Robert Sangster 15/2 17
1991 King’s Curate 7-11-10 Mark Perrett Stan Mellor C J Ells 5/2F 15
1990 Trapper John 6-11-10 Charlie Swan Mouse Morris IRE Jill Fanning 15/2 22
1989 Rustle 7-11-10 Michael Bowlby Nicky Henderson Robert Waley-Cohen 4/1 21
1988 Galmoy 9-11-10 Tommy Carmody John Mulhern IRE Miss D Threadwell 2/1F 16
1987 Galmoy 8-11-10 Tommy Carmody John Mulhern IRE Miss D Threadwell 9/2 14
1986 Crimson Embers 11-11-10 Stuart Shilston Fulke Walwyn Sally Smart 12/1 19
1985 Rose Ravine 6-11-05 Ricky Pusey Fulke Walwyn Sally Smart 5/1F 22
1984 Gaye Chance 9-11-10 Sam Morshead Mercy Rimell Mary Curtis 5/1 14
1983 A Kinsman 7-11-12 Geordie Dun John Brockbank Mrs John Brockbank 50/1 21
1982 Crimson Embers 7-11-12 Stuart Shilston Fulke Walwyn Sally Smart 2/1F 11
1981 Derring Rose 6-11-12 John Francome Fred Winter Peter Savill 3/1 14
1980 Mountrivers 6-11-12 Tommy Ryan Edward O’Grady IRE B Burser 7/1 19
1979 Lighter 6-11-12 Philip Blacker John Edwards G Smith 14/1 14
1978 Flame Gun 6-11-12 Mr Niall Madden Edward O’Grady IRE Mary Kenny 14/1 13
1977 Town Ship 6-11-12 Tommy Carberry Peter Easterby Pat Muldoon 5/2 11
1976 Bit Of A Jig 8-11-12 Dessie Hughes Mick O’Toole IRE Mrs Mick O’Toole 2/1F 12
1975 Brown Lad 9-11-12 Tommy Carberry Jim Dreaper IRE Mrs Peter Burrell 7/4F 12
1974 Highland Abbe 8-11-12 Richard Smith Les Kennard Mrs K Hankey 15/2 15
1973 Moyne Royal 8-11-12 David Mould Arthur Pitt E Cook 10/1 8
1972 Parlour Moor 8-11-12 Macer Gifford Tom Jones Charlotte Monckton 13/2 11

Cheltenham £50 Bonus