Ryanair Hurdle
Grade 1, Leopardstown 14:30
€100,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m, Class 1  
Tuesday 29th December 2015

1 Nichols Canyon 2/5F
2 Identity Thief 11/4
3 Plinth 40/1
NR: Arctic Fire (GER)
4 ran Distances: 2l, 16l, 4l
TIME 4m 13.20s (slow by 28.20s)

Never-say-die Nichols Canyon out-battles Identity Thief

Nichols Canyon
© Caroline Norris
Nichols Canyon

Nichols Canyon showed all the old battling qualities of his former stablemate Hurricane Fly to win the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown.

The now-retired Hurricane Fly won four of the previous five renewals of this race but for much of the home straight Nichols Canyon looked like coming off second best.

Henry de Bromhead's Identity Thief proved his win in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle was no fluke as he cruised into the lead before the final flight.

Identity Thief
© Caroline Norris
Identity Thief

Bryan Cooper got a great leap out of Identity Thief, which appeared to seal victory, but Ruby Walsh threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Nichols Canyon.

The Willie Mullins-trained 2-5 favourite began to eat into the gap and eventually got on top to win going away by two lengths.

Nichols Canyon was winning a sixth Grade One from just nine starts over hurdles.

Free Racing Tips

The Ryanair Hurdle
2m , Race Value: €100,000
4 ran
Going: Heavy

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Nichols Canyon 2/5f R Walsh
W P Mullins 5
2nd 2 Identity Thief (IRE) 11/4 B J Cooper
H de Bromhead 5
3rd 16 Plinth (IRE) 40/1 B J Geraghty
A P O'Brien 5
4th 4 Windsor Park (IRE) 7/1 D N Russell
D K Weld 6
NR Arctic Fire (GER) 11/4 J Ricou
W P Mullins 6