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JP McManus

JP McManus: owner purchased Mr Mole after he won a Hereford bumper

  PICTURE: Inpho  

Nicholls and McManus join forces for first time

TWO reigning champions are united for the first time at Exeter on Tuesday when Paul Nicholls has his debut runner for owner JP McManus.

There is the longest serving title-holder of them all to add to the mix as Tony McCoy will ride Mr Mole in the 2m1f novices' hurdle.

A runaway 12-length winner of a Hereford bumper at 15-8 favourite in the spring for Nicholls, the four-year-old was then purchased privately by McManus.

He had shown signs of his inexperience when winning, jinking left up the run-in when clear. He makes his hurdles debut on Tuesday, but Nicholls considers we will not see him at his peak until he goes chasing.

The champion jumps trainer said: "It's great to have JP McManus with us here as an owner and hopefully we can do well for him. Mr Mole definitely is one for the future, a chaser in the making."

Another Exeter runner equipped with the McManus colours for the first time will be the Philip Hobbs-trained Bold Henry in the Betfred Best Mate Beginner's Chase.

The six-year-old, a last-flight faller when clear at Kempton in April, carried the colours of Karola Vann when winning a maiden hurdle at Exeter the following month. He also changed hands in a private deal.

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