Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Faugheen turns back the clock

26-April-2018 18:56
in General
by Admin

Willie Mullins' dominance of the Punchestown Festival continued on day three with Faugheen providing Ireland's champion trainer with another Grade 1 victory in the Champion Stayers' Hurdle. The ten year old, who finished sixth in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on his previous start, was tackling three miles for the first time since the 28th December 2013. Partnered by David Mullins, the Germany gelding pinched a few lengths at the start and made all the running. Racing with old enthusiasm, he jumped and travelled beautifully and readily saw off his stablemates Penhill and Shaneshill to win by thirteen lengths. It was his ninth Grade 1 win in a glittering career. It was a fantastic result for Rich Ricci who has endured his fair share of bad luck during the last couple of seasons.

Footpad was equally impressive in the Grade 1 two mile novice chase and, in doing so, provided Mullins with his twelfth winner of the week. Ridden prominently, the six year old outclassed his rivals with a tremendous round of jumping under Daryl Jacob. Unbeaten in five starts over fences, it will be interesting to see which route he takes next season.

At Beverley, Trading Point looked a well handicapped horse when taking the extended one mile handicap by four and a half lengths. Restricted to a couple of outings last season when handled by John Quinn, he was switched to David O'Meara at the backend of 2017. Racing off a mark of 78, the son of Siyouni received a positive ride by Danny Tudhope and never looked like relinquishing his advantage. In all likelihood, the four year old is set for a healthy rise in the ratings but I wonder if his connections may consider a tilt at the rescheduled Thirsk Hunt Cup at Wetherby on Saturday week (5th May). A front runner, he is proven on a turning track and may take some pegging back at the West Yorkshire venue. Either way, the lightly raced colt is set for more wins this year.

I am away for a couple of days but will be back to update the Diary at the start of next week.


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