Nichols Canyon brought back memories of the great Inglis Drever by flying up the Cheltenham hill to win the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle for owner Graham Wylie.
The multiple Grade 1 winner, who was an admirable third in last season’s Champion Hurdle, had only previously run once over three miles but he produced a power-packed finish under Ruby Walsh to plunder the day-three feature from gallant runner up Lil Rockerfeller.
The success completes a stunning 75-1 Grade 1 treble for the jockey/trainer combination on the day and means Walsh sits atop of the festival top jockey table.
Red-hot favourite Unowhatimeanharry travelled ominously well into contention but couldn't get past the ultra-tough runner up and, as that pair drifted to the centre of the track, Nichols Canyon flew up the stands rail to land the spoils.
A delighted Graham Wylie said: "When I told Willie to buy a horse for me, he rang me up and said 'I think I've found you the next Inglis Drever'. He looks like Inglis Drever as he's only a pony, but he flew up the hill. Ruby told me he'd ride him like that to make sure he got the trip.
"It wasn't until approaching the last I thought he might get placed, never mind win. With the problems with Faugheen and Annie Power we thought he'd be a Champion Hurdle horse, but it hasn't gone right.
"It's only been the last two weeks he's started to show anything, but this is great. Willie is a genius."