Unowhatimeanharry had been beaten by Nichols Canyon at the Cheltenham Festival, but he reversed that form at Punchestown with a terrific win under Noel Fehily
UNOWHATIMEANHARRY battled to the line to defeat Nichols Canyon in a thrilling renewal of the Champion Stayers Hurdle.
Noel Fehily gave Harry Fry’s hurdler a peach of a ride to hold off the late and persistent challenge of Willie Mullins’ Nichols Canyon.
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Lil Rockerfeller adopted his usual front-running tactics but when he dropped back and Fehily kicked clear, Daryl Jacob on Footpad and Walsh where the two main dangers.
A head separated the big two at the line after a battle up the home straight, with a further 18 lengths back to Footpad after he failed to go with the front pair.
Unfortunately the promising Sutton Place was pulled up sharply by Mark Walsh half a mile out.
Fehily said: “I just thought we went very slow. Plans A, B and C went out of the window because the last thing I wanted was to be in front two out.
“I had to go forward but luckily he’s a tough little horse, he was very long at the last but he came up for me and he’s got the heart of a lion.”
Annie Power does not feature in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle declarations for Friday
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