Wylie said: ” It was a very nice surprise to see him do what he did at Punchestown. Willie told me during the summer we’d go down the Champion Hurdle route, but that we’d try to avoid Faugheen before hopefully meeting him at Cheltenham in March if all went well. “When they were entered against each other I was surprised and Willie told me not to expect to beat Faugheen. I think he was as surprised as anyone that he did. “I think the plan will be to go to Leopardstown and hopefully myself and Andrea (wife) will get over there for a few days over Christmas. “It’s just really exciting to have what looks a live candidate for the Champion Hurdle. I’ve never had one before.” The Wylies have enjoyed a strong start to the season in Ireland, with Bellshill and Up For Review both looking like major players in the novice hurdle division after making impressive starts to their jumping careers in November. “Bellshill was very good at Cork and I was impressed with Up For Review at Fairyhouse as well, so it’s exciting times,” said Wylie. “I’m sure we’ll learn more about them when they step up in grade.” Owner Graham Wylie is looking forward to making the trip to Leopardstown over Christmas to see if Nichols Canyon can reaffirm his Champion Hurdle claims in the Ryanair Hurdle. Press Association The Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old struck four times at Grade One level during his novice campaign and inflicted a shock defeat on previously unbeaten stable companion Faugheen on his return to action in last month’s Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown. Wylie expects the pair to be kept apart until a potential rematch at Cheltenham in March and with Faugheen set to return to Kempton to defend his Christmas Hurdle crown, Nichols Canyon will head to Leopardstown on December 29 for a race won four times by recently-retired former stablemate Hurricane Fly.
(By Stephan Sookram in Jamaica, compliments of Fly Jamaica, GT Motorsports, Nexus Machinery and Bell Communications)THE Jamaicans will have their hands full with Guyanese competition this weekend during the Jamaica Karting Association (JKA) Double Trouble battle.Set for the Palisadoes karting track in Kingston, the two-day event will feature six Guyanese competing across three classes.After yesterday’s official practice, they are all upbeat about their chances in their respective classes.In the Rotax senior class, Guyana will be represented by Matthew Phang while in the junior division, the attack will be three-fold among Rayden Persaud, Mikhail Persaud and Elan Rahaman.Mikhail Persaud rounds the Penultimate corner of the Palisadoes race track.Up to late yesterday, the Guyanese were still working to bring their times down to the average track times as they get ready for today’s qualifying which begins at 10:00hrs.According to track officials, the senior class karters are near the 57-second timings with Phang already down to low 58s while the juniors average just around the same.Rayden was pushing times of 58.5 for his junior class which carries just about the same time bracket with Mikhail posting low 59s and Elan in the same region.In the Macro class, Jeremy Ten Pow was able to post a 59.2-second time with the average time being around the 58-second bracket.Justin Ten Pow, who is in the Mini Max class was posting 1:05 second time in a group where the average time is around 1:03.Speaking to Chronicle Sport, JKA president David Summerbell contended that the process for the exchange programme begun just over a month ago.“Since we were down in Guyana about a month back, we started discussions about having a few Guyanese here for our karting event. It is fabulous that it all worked out this way and we have some of the best youngsters here this weekend.”“I have to say a big shout out to the sponsors, of course Total Lubricants, Fly Jamaica and there are so many more that have come on board for this event.”Today’s qualification begins at 10:00hrs with racing set for just over an hour.