Still No Decision On Faugheen Festival Target


Faugheen has been rejuvenated this season stepping ton novice chasing company and is currently unbeaten on all three of his outings but now heading back to the Cheltenham festival Mullins is taking his time in finalising his race entry.

The 12 year old machine was one of the finest hurdlers of his era landing numerous Grade Ones including the Cheltenham and Irish Champion Hurdle.

Now as a veteran he has taken up chasing and is currently showing his previous winning form being three out of three and looking like the horse of old.

Faugheen started his season off at Punchestown in a Beginners chase and although making quite a bad mistake he managed to compose himself and get back up near the finish line.

With chasing set to be the option for the season he carried on over fences and stepped into Grade One company over fences for the first time at Limerick and he managed to see off the superstar of old Samcro to take the race fairly easy.

Faugheen now looking like a very classy novice chaser even at the age of 12 went in search of more black type victory as he went to the Dublin Racing festival at Leopardstown at the start of February and again pulled out all the stops to narrowly take the Flogas Novices Chase from stablemate Easy Game.

From an outsiders perspective it would look obvious to go to the Marsh Novices Chase at the festival instead of the the RSA Chase with him not running over three mils all season but there are many punters and pundits that believe the extra trip over the bigger fences will prove more beneficial for the superstar.

(Credit At The Races) Trainer Willie Mullins said: “He is well after his run in Leopardstown, but myself and Rich haven’t spoken about it (Cheltenham).

“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.”