Injury puts paid to Nichols Canyon bid for Iroquois in Nashville
Nichols Canyon, winner of the Stayers' Hurdle at this year's Cheltenham Festival, will not attempt to land a lucrative bonus in America this Saturday after suffering an injury while being shipped over.
Runner-up to Unowhatimeanharry at the Punchestown festival last month, the Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old qualified for a tilt at a $500,000 bonus in the Calvin Houghland Iroquois after his Cheltenham victory, but that plan has had to be aborted.
Nichols Canyon was third in the race, which is staged in Nashville, Tennessee, last year, and Mullins is disappointed he will not be able to try and capture the prize.
"We are really, really disappointed not to be able to contend the race, particularly due to the international aspect and the very generous bonus offered," he told www.nationalsteeplechase.com.
"After two seasons of planning and coming up with the right horse, Nichols Canyon's win at Cheltenham and previous experience of this race last year provided us with a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are devastated that he will miss out on being in contention for that level of prize-money.
"The most important thing at the moment is to get Nichols Canyon home and plan for next season."