Coral Hurdle

Grade 2, Ascot 14:40
(registered As The Ascot Hurdle),
£90,000 added, 4yo plus,
2m 3f 110y, Class 1  
Saturday 22nd November 2014

1 Faugheen 1/4F
2 Blue Fashion 6/1
3 Lac Fontana 8/1
7 ran Distances: 3¾l, 5l, 4½l
TIME 4m 47.70s (slow by 19.70s)

They call him Faugheen The Machine - and he was firing on all cylinders today - taking the Coral Hurdle with minimum fuss

Faugheen
© Caroline Norris

Faugheen

Ante-post Champion Hurdle favourite Faugheen turned on the style as Ruby Walsh made most of the running aboard the Cheltenham Festival-winning six-year-old.

He is now unbeaten in seven starts, and was in no particular hurry at the head of affairs, but his companion largely jumped accurately and with economic purpose.

Blue Fashion at least attempted to make a race of it, but a swift jump at the last from the 1-4 favourite confirmed the inevitable and Faugheen won by a carefree three and three-quarter lengths.

The result gave Walsh and trainer Willie Mullins back-to-back victories in the Grade Two after Annie Power struck 12 months ago.

The jockey said: "That was mission accomplished. Looking at the runners, we felt we might have to make the running ourselves.

"That was the first run of the year and we knew he was going to improve, so we were not about to make it a test of stamina. He showed a terrific turn of foot. This was just about November. He wasn't going to be 125 per cent fit.

"Once I got the fencing down the hill, he jumped much better form there. He has ticked the first box, he has plenty of big questions to answer, but the dream is alive."

Mullins said: "I'm delighted. Ruby really asked him at the last and he came up for him. He was able to dictate the pace, which he won't always be able to do.

"He looks way stronger than he did at any stage last year. Hopefully I can keep him like that and, if he can improve, who knows.

"I don't know where he'll go next but he has plenty of options and could go up or down in trip."

Coral Hurdle (registered As The Ascot Hurdle) (Grade 2)
£90,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 3f 110y, Class 1
7 ran
Going: Soft

Pos Dist Horse Weight Trainer Age
1st Faugheen (IRE) 1/4f
R Walsh
11-4 W P Mullins 6
2nd Blue Fashion (IRE) 6/1
D Bass
11-0 N J Henderson 5
3rd 5 Lac Fontana (FR) 8/1
Nick Scholfield
11-4 P F Nicholls 5
4th Hint Of Mint 25/1
P J Brennan
11-0 Nick Williams 5
5th Ballyglasheen (IRE) 50/1
Adam Wedge
11-4 Evan Williams 4
6th 5 First Avenue 40/1
J E Moore
11-0 Mrs L J Mongan 9
7th 68 Houseparty 150/1
Mr H G Miller
11-0 Miss Z C Davison 6