Faugheen: 7-4 in places to regain the Stan James Champion Hurdle
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Ronan Groome 7:40AM 19 JUL 2016
FAUGHEEN may start his preparations for the new jumps season as early as next week after recovering from the injury he sustained in February.
The 2015 Champion Hurdle winner was a red-hot favourite to retain his crown last season before he damaged a suspensory ligament in the lead-up to the defence of his title at Cheltenham.
Patrick Mullins, assistant trainer to his father Willie, reported the eight-year-old in good form.
“Faugheen looks great. He spent the summer out in the field on our farm and the good weather has helped him and a lot of our horses. He may begin work next week and we’ll take it from there,” he said.
“It’s very early days but I’d imagine he could take a similar route to what he has been doing the last two seasons. But we haven’t made any decisions yet.”
The son of Germany could head back to Kempton in December for the Christmas Hurdle, a race he has landed twice in as many years.
Even though Faugheen never made it to any of the major festivals last season. he still finished the season as the highest-rated hurdler in Britain and Ireland with a mark of 176 due to his scintillating performance in the BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown in January.
He is as short as 7-4 in places to regain the Stan James Champion Hurdle in March, a race in which Willie Mullins trains six of the first eight in the betting.