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Horse Racing

Noland favourite For Ryanair

Thursday 11th December 2008

Noland is now favourite at around the 9/2 mark for the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, following an impressive display when winning the John Durkan Chase at Punchestown on 9th December. Noland headed the market along with War Of Attrition and although he took the spoils, War Of Attrition also emerged with plenty of credit when finishing third on ground that did not suit him at all. War Of Attrition is now a 25/1 shot to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup for a second time.

Noland, ridden by Sam Thomas, took over the John Durkan after The Listener crashed through the fourth last. That mistake was crucial as the grey rallied from the last and was catching Noland at the line, going down by half a length. War Of Attrition was a further seven lengths adrift.

Winning trainer, Paul Nicholls said: "It is really great for Sam, just what he needed, a Grade One winner to get his confidence back. It was the first time that he'd ridden Noland.

Nolands owner John Hales was keen to go for the King George on Boxing Day, but It has been decided to keep the Ryanair as his priority this season. He will have one more race between now and then.

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