The seven-year-old Mulligan was a winner five times in novice company last season but a faller at Cheltenham and Aintree when Maguire was missing due to injury. The pair face four rivals as Nicholson bids to win the pounds 29,000-added event for the first time since Waterloo Boy scored in 1992.
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Adrian Maguire has chosen to desert Viking Flagship in favour of up-and-coming Mulligan in today's Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter. Richard Johnson takes the mount on the dual winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase.