Faugheen Festival target undecided

Mullins to consult with owner Ricci on Cheltenham options.

  • Wednesday 19 February
  • News
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Willie Mullins plans to talk to owner Rich Ricci before deciding on Faugheen’s Cheltenham Festival target.

Winner of the Champion Hurdle in 2015, the veteran has bounced back to something like his best this season at the age of 12.

Having his first campaign over fences, Faugheen has already won Grade Ones at Limerick and Leopardstown, where he raised the roof at the start of the month.

Faugheen has the option of the RSA Chase over three miles or the Marsh Novices Chase over two miles and five furlongs, the distance over which he won at the Dublin Racing Festival.

“He is well after his run in Leopardstown, but myself and Rich haven’t spoken about it (Cheltenham),” said Mullins.

“Rich actually text me last night because he knew the press were coming this morning and he said to me ‘do remember we haven’t spoken about it’!

“I was delighted that he was able to come back and win two Grade Ones and he’s been in great shape since his last run.

“I couldn’t get over the reaction in the stands in Leopardstown. If I was ever moved at a race meeting – and I’m not normally – that was the day. He got the best reception I’ve ever seen.

“I’ve never said it’s over for him. I was disappointed with myself that I didn’t go chasing last season and I just wanted to go chasing with him before he retired.

“People said we should retire him, but we still have Wither Or Which out there in the field at 29 years of age and it’s a long life.

“There’s a lot more life in horses than people give them credit for and it’s maybe not that great being stood in a field retired in this weather!

“I’m happy he’s come back and proven a point. We’ll have to discuss where we go next. I want to hear Rich’s views.”

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