Faugheen ‘favourite’ to stick to hurdling

‘We are very, very pleased with him’

  • Wednesday 31 October
  • News
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Willie Mullins admits it may be best for Faugheen to stay over hurdles this term rather than have a late stab at a novice chasing career.

The ever-popular 10-year-old returned from 665 days off the track to win the Morgiana Hurdle last October, but then failed to build on that before thriving for the step up to three miles to win in style at Punchestown.

While Mullins and owner Rich Ricci have not totally ruled out a switch to fences, the trainer believes staying over hurdles may be the better option.

He said: “He is great and we are very, very pleased with him.

“We haven’t really decided whether we will go novice chasing or hurdling. I would say hurdling is favourite at the moment, but once again I have to talk to Rich.

“He was over here last week and was delighted with how he looked. We just said we’d leave it for another while until the horse has started to do fast work.

“As much as I’d like to go chasing, he might be better off staying hurdling.”

Faugheen could finish only sixth in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, but stablemate Melon pushed Buveur D’Air all the way to be beaten a neck in second and a return to the Festival remains firmly on the agenda.

Mullins said: “We are going to go down the Champion Hurdle route again with him this year.

“I think he will improve from what he did last year, which leaves him right up there at the top of it. I think what he learned at Cheltenham will be huge when it comes back around to it again this season.”

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