Herald Champion Novice Hurdle
horse racing tipster
Grade 1, Punchestown
Race Value: €90,000
5yo plus
2m, Class1
Tuesday 29th April 2014

Ladbrokes

1 Faugheen 1/2F
2 Valseur Lido 9/1
3 Sgt Reckless 8/1
8 ran Distances: 12l, 1¼l, ½l
TIME 3m 57.60s (slow by 11.60s)

Faugheen maintained his unbeaten record in devastating fashion at Punchestown today when justifying 1/2 favouritism to win the Grade 1 Herald Champion Novice Hurdle by 12 lengths eased down.

Faugheen
© Caroline Norris

Faugheen

The six-year-old, who won the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham over two miles and five furlongs, was dropping back in trip to two miles but that proved no inconvenience.

"We were going to run Vautour in this but he failed a late fitness test at declaration time and we were happy enough that this fellow could take his place. Hopefully, Vautour should be fine to run on Friday [Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle]," said trainer Willie Mullins. "It was a very good effort running on that ground, considering that he had been running on heavy all winter - particularly when he won at Limerick (3m).

"It was a fair performance to win like that stepping back in trip and I think he might stick to hurdling next season. When we bought him we thought he would be a chaser but after this hurdling could be his forte. We'll see what happens at this meeting, evaluate what else we have in the yard and decide over the summer. The only reason he didn't go over two miles over the winter was that we had enough other horses for that distance and he stayed. Now we know he goes on this ground as well."

Ruby Walsh, who returned from injury at the weekend, was in the saddle and Mullins added: "Ruby said at Cheltenham that his aim was to get back for this meeting and he generally does what he says he is going to. He looks as good as ever."

Rich Ricci, whose wife Susannah owns Faugheen, added: "That's a very good way to start the Festival. He beat some good horses today and I thought he jumped better than he did at Cheltenham, which was encouraging. He's a contender to be a Champion Hurdle horse on that performance so we have some thinking to do over the summer. This is a fantastic week. There is a lot of pressure at Cheltenham but you get a lot of attention that is well-meant here. It is a great meeting and we are here for the week."

Ruby Walsh added: "John who rides him the whole time said to me yesterday 'he will you blow you away' and he did. I was fairly adamant that the run in Cheltenham would improve him a hell of a lot jumping-wise. He had very little experience in the three soft races he had before Cheltenham. He jumped like a buck today. When I opened him up in the straight, oh my God - away with him!

"It was a fair gamble dropping back to two miles so I'd say that will have Willie scratching his head now. Patrick Mullins was always saying he is as good a bumper horse he has ever ridden and he is right. A P (McCoy) said when we pulled up he is some novice and he is. We have to have a debate about what to do with three or four of them next season but you would think the Champion Hurdle would have to be in the mix."

After winning in hugely impressive style, Faugheen was immediately slashed to 5-1 joint-favourite for the 2015 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Mathematician Betting

The Herald Champion Novice Hurdle
€90000 added, 5yo plus, 2m, Class 1
8 ran
Going: Good to Yielding

Place Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
1st
1. Faugheen
W.P. Mullins R. Walsh
11-12
1/2 F
2nd
12 L
6. Valseur Lido (FR) W.P. Mullins P. Townend
11-12
9/1
3rd
1 1/4 L
4. Sgt Reckless (GB) Mick Channon A.P. McCoy
11-12
8/1
4th
1/2 L
5. The Liquidator (GB) David Pipe T. Scudamore
11-12
12/1
5th
SH
7. Western Boy P.A.Fahy D.N. Russell
11-12
7/1
6th
1/2 L
3. Real Steel Philip Fenton B.T. O'Connell
11-12
16/1
7th
14 L
2. Quickpick Vic A.J.Martin A.E. Lynch
11-12
66/1
fell
8. Wicklow Brave (GB) W.P. Mullins D.J. Casey
11-12
16/1

Past Results:

Year

Horse/SP

Age/Wt Owner

Trainer

Jockey

2013

Jezki 2/1

5-11-12
J P McManus

Jessica Harrington

Barry Geraghty

2012

Alderwood 5/2

8-11-12
J P McManus

Tom Mullins

A P McCoy

2011

Shot From The Hip 11/2

7-11-12
J P McManus

Edward O’Grady

A P McCoy

2010

Blackstair
mountain
5/1

5-11-12
Susannah Ricci

Willie Mullins

Paul Townend

2009

Hurricane Fly 4/6 Fav

5-11-12
George Creight

on/Rose Boyd Willie Mullins

Ruby Walsh

2008

Jered 7/4 Fav

6-11-12
J P McManus

Noel Meade

A P McCoy

2007

Clopf 7/4 Fav

6-11-12
Bernard Heffernan

Edward O’Grady

Barry Geraghty

2006

Iktitaf 8/1

5-11-11
Mrs Pat Sloan

Noel Meade

Ruby Walsh

2005

Wild Passion 7/4 Fav

5-11-11
Des Sharkey

Noel Meade

Paul Carberry

2004

Brave Inca 2/1 Fav

6-11-12
Novices Syndicate

Colm Murphy

Barry Cash

2003

Back In Front 4/11 Fav

6-11-12
Dermot Cox

Edward O’Grady

Norman Williamson

2002

Scottish Memories 11/4

6-11-12
Mary Halligan

Noel Meade

Paul Carberry

*2001

Ned Kelly 4/5 Fav

5-11-11
Sue Magnier

Edward O’Grady

Norman Williamson

2000

Moscow Flyer 10/1

6-12-00 Brian Kearney

Jessica Harrington

Barry Geraghty

1999

Cardinal Hill 1/2 Fav

5-11-13
J P McManus

Noel Meade

Charlie Swan

1998

His Song 6/4

5-11-13
David Lloyd

Mouse Morris

A P McCoy

1997

Midnight Legend 7/4 Fav

6-12-00
Hilda Clarke

David Nicholson GB

Richard Johnson

1996

Dance Beat 7/2

5-11-08
Mrs E Queally

Jessica Harrington

John Shortt

1995

Hotel Minella 5/4 Fav

8-12-00
John J Nallen

Aidan O’Brien

Charlie Swan

1994

Klairon Davis 7/4 Fav

5-11-13
Chris Jones

Arthur Moore

Tom Horgan

1993

Bayrouge 7/2

5-11-08
Joe Crowley

Anne-Marie O’Brien

Richard Dunwoody

1992

Fortune And Fame 11/4 Fav

5-11-13
Michael Smurfit

Dermot Weld

Brendan Sheridan

1991

Young Pokey 5/2

6-12-00
Maurice Oberstein

Oliver Sherwood GB

Jamie Osborne

1990

Vestris Abu 5/2

4-10-05
Mrs C Shubotham

Jim Bolger

Charlie Swan

1989

The Proclamation 9/2

6-10-13
J M Whaley

Paddy Prendergast

Richard Dunwoody

1988

El-Sid Senor 9/4 Fav

5-11-07
T Miley

Francis Flood

Frank Berry

1987

High Plains 8/1

5-11-05
Raymond Mould

David Nicholson GB

Richard Dunwoody

1986

Barney Burnett Evs Fav

6-11-09
P Donovan

Ruby Walsh

Brendan Sheridan

1985

Hungary Hur 5/1

6-11-06
Mrs A Fegan

Paddy Mullins

Tony Mullins

1984

Gav’s Delight 2/5 Fav

6-11-07
N McGrady

Michael Cunningham

Ken Morgan

1983

Dawn Run 5/2 Fav

5-11-07
Mrs Charmian Hill

Paddy Mullins

Tony Mullins

1982

Bustineto 5/2

4-10-05
Timothy Kinsella

Mick O’Toole

Niall Madden

1981

Tie Anchor 2/1 Fav

4-10-09
Daniel Hale

Paddy Prendergast

Tommy McGivern

1980

Deep Gale 7/1

7-11-08
J P McManus

Edward O’Grady

Mr Frank Codd