Three to take out of an amazing Boxing Day

Faugheen The Machine Like A Fine Wine

Over at Limerick 11 year old Faugheen landed his first black type success over fences after the veteran this season has been transformed into the horse of old.

The Willie Mullins trained superstar throughout his career has landed numerous Grade Ones over hurdles and surprisingly at the age of 11 his trainer switched him to fences.

This has been one of the training decisions of the century with the star looking a shadow of his former self and on the brink of retirement after injury setbacks and below standard performances the season before, his new lease of life over fences has seen him go unbeaten on both his starts.

He scored at Punchestown in November in a Beginners Chase although making a mistake and was sent to Limerick for an even tougher test on just his second start over the bigger obstacles.

He was taking on the hot favourite Samcro in the Grade One Novices Chase and with the two head to head facing the last the extra class showed from the veteran and he went on to ease clear and put a huge statement out for some of the Cheltenham markets.

Notebook Leads Arkle Dream

Staying in Ireland but over at Leopardstown in the race of the day their that was seen as a two horse shoot out in the betting markets between Laurina and Fakir D'oudairies in the Grade One Racing Post Novices Chase.

However, this was not to be with Willie Mullins Arkle favourite bursting her blood vessels early on in the contest and never running her race seeing her being pulled up.

It was then left to the Joseph O'Brien trained four year old to take centre stage but Notebook for Henry De Bromhead had other ideas and the Novice Chase cruised to victory in a very taking performance.

The six year old under a super ride by Rachael Blackmore made it three from three for the season after two smart wins at Punchestown, one of them coming in a Grade Two.

But it was at Leopardstown where he gave the best performance of his career landing his first ever black type win of his tenor and now leading the Arkle Chase market at the Cheltenham festival.

Epatante Heads Champion Hurdle Nightmare Market

The final horse from yesterday's jam packed day of racing that is worth shouting about was the Grade One Christmas Hurdle winner Epatante for Nicky Henderson.

Kempton was the place to be in England yesterday with Clan Des Obeaux retaining his King George title and Slate House landing the Kauto Star Novices Chase but we believe Epatante's performance was the most taking from the meeting.

The mare stays unbeaten for the season after a superb prep run win at Newbury before she headed to Kempton at a huge price of 6/1 in the morning only to go off as 2/1 favourite and romp home.

What makes her run the most taking from the days action is that it adds a slightly better picture to a messy Champion Hurdle market with the five year old heading straight to the top of the market.

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