What We Learned From The Weekend - 19/11/2018

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FAUGHEEN DISAPPOINTS ON SEASON OPENER

After winning a Grade 1 emphatically at Punchestown back in April, connections felt Faugheen still had what it takes to dominate races at the top level.

Sadly, yesterday saw the ten-year-old fall way short to stable mate Sharjah. Faugheen had gone off at odds of 2/5 due to the withdrawals of Supasundae and Samcro. However, he didn’t come close to confirming this. Whilst he set the pace throughout, he found little to nothing when asked with Sharjah cruising past to win by over seven lengths.

It would be hoped that Faugheen will come on for the run and that the trip proved too sharp at this point in his career. However, it would be hard to deny that the manner of defeat was alarming.

MULLINS AND ELLIOTT GOING BLOW FOR BLOW IN EARLY STAGES

Leading trainers Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins are showing that their Trainers Championship should be a titanic tussle this year. Mullins currently leads the Championship with 75 wins compared to Elliott’s 62.

This weekend saw them both bag four winners each at Punchestown but the frustration for Elliott will be that it was Mullins that bagged all the major races. He won the only Grade 1 at the meeting along with both Grade 2’s. In each of the Grade 2’s Elliott finished second.

The highest class race aside from these races was also won by Mullins. This may go some way to explaining why Mullins is already over 600,000 euros ahead of Elliott but there is of course a lot of money still to be played for.

CONEYGREE FAR FROM FINISHED

Mark Bradstock’s eleven-year-old shows he still has plenty to offer after a brave showing in the Grade 3 BetVictor.com Handicap Chase (Grade 3).

As was the norm the 2015 Gold Cup winner jumped. This was only his sixth start since then and the fact that he led until the last few furlongs shows that if he comes on for the run he is still a force to be reckoned with.

He has reportedly come out of the race well. Whilst the horse’s track record of injuries will forever be a concern, the King George on Boxing Day is now a realistic target.

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