Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle
Grade 1, Punchestown 17:30
€275,000 added,
4yo plus,
3m, Class 1    
Thursday 26th April 2018

1 Faugheen 11/2
2 Penhill 2/1F
3 Shaneshill 33/1
12 ran Distances: 13l, 4¾l, 12l
Time: 6m 4.10s (slow by 28.10s)

Faugheen the machine is back

© Caroline Norris

One of jump racing's biggest stars, Faugheen, came home to a hero's reception at Punchestown on Thursday when returning to form in brilliant style

Trainer Willie Mullins' nephew David was aboard the 10-year-old and put in a bold front-running performance to come home 13 lengths clear of stablemate Penhill.

The winning trainer admitted he didn't go into today's race with great confidence. "He showed he still has it. But Ruby and I watched him work the other morning and we just looked at each other, I don't know how slow he came up but this was really last-chance saloon today," said Mullins. "If he'd finished down the field then that would probably have been it. But you always run them and hope that the good weather and things would help. He likes this track and they were going a different gear than over two miles, the gallop he is used to. I thought he had got a nice, soft lead and they would have to race to get to him. David said he loved it, absolutely loved it. He enjoyed it today and we have talked about sending him chasing next season. Three-mile hurdling is very hard on them and he's obviously not enjoying two miles. I think Rich (Ricci) really enjoyed that so it's good to finish like that as it's not been the greatest year for him."
David Mullins added: "That was special. I took a look at the screen twice on the way around and I was further ahead the second time I looked than the first. I felt like I was doing a canter all the way - you could say he's back to his best. He's done everything right. You could say Willie has his horses in tip-top condition."
Owner Rich Ricci said: "I am emotional, as you would expect from me, but absolutely delighted. It has been a tough old season for Faugheen and for us. It is nice to have a change of luck and he seemed to love it today. Willie had called in the week and said 'he is not working very well, I want to run him in three miler rather than two miler.' I said that is fine as I did not want him to disgrace himself.
"I was thinking about what we do with him [in the future]. Maybe let him summer and then novice chasing next season, and then all of a sudden he comes out today and does that. It is a credit to Willie - he is amazing - and everybody in the yard. John Codd deserves a lot of credit. He has been with that horse all year and never lost faith. He nursed him back from his injuries. It's brilliant. Cheltenham may have been disappointing but this makes up for it. The reception he got here was brilliant. It is just a magic day.
"David owed me that for beating us here on Nichols Canyon! I am delighted for David. I asked him before the race what is he going to do and he said he would make it. I said 'gosh, really?' but he said 'yeah yeah, he likes bowling along in front and I will ride him like he is the best horse in the race.' He did and fair play to him, it was a cracking ride. Fair play to Ruby because after Cheltenham he said he needs to go up to three miles. He felt he still has the enthusiasm but is not as quick as he was. Ruby said if it was up to him he would have been three miles all year. We always forget that he won that three-mile novices' hurdle at Limerick all those years ago. I don't know what we will do with him. If that's it, then fantastic, but I hope that is not it."


Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle
€275,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m, Class 1
12 ran
Going: Yielding to Soft

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Faugheen (IRE) 11/2 D J Mullins
W P Mullins 10
2nd 13 Penhill 2/1f P Townend
W P Mullins 7
3rd Shaneshill (IRE) 33/1 D E Mullins
W P Mullins 9
4th 12 Identity Thief (IRE) 6/1 S W Flanagan
H de Bromhead 8
5th ½ Bapaume (FR) 25/1 N D Fehily
W P Mullins 5
6th ¾ Diamond Cauchois (FR) 14/1 D N Russell
G Elliott 7
7th La Bague Au Roi (FR) 14/1 Harry Bannister
W Greatrex 7
8th Yorkhill (IRE) 14/1 R M Power
W P Mullins 8
9th 32 Bleu Et Rouge (FR) 33/1 M P Walsh
W P Mullins 7
10th hd Bacardys (FR) 4/1 Mr P W Mullins
W P Mullins 7
11th hd Jezki (IRE) 20/1 B J Geraghty
Mrs J Harrington 10
PU Lieutenant Colonel 66/1 J W Kennedy
G Elliott 9


Year Horse Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP
2017 Unowhatimeanharry 9-11-10 J P McManus H Fry N D Fehily 4/1
2016 One Track Mind 6-11-10 Andy Weller W Greatrex Gavin Sheehan 10/1
2015 Jezki 7-11-10 J P McManus Jessica Harrington Mark Walsh 5/2
2014 Jetson 9-11-10 Gerard & Moira McGrath Jessica Harrington Davy Russell 20/1
2013 Quevega 9-11-03 Hammer & Trowel Synd. Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 6/4 Fav
2012 Quevega 8-11-03 Hammer & Trowel Synd. Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 11/10 Fav
2011 Quevega 7-11-05 Hammer & Trowel Synd. Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 8/11 Fav
2010 Quevega 6-11-05 Hammer & Trowel Synd. Willie Mullins Paul Townend 5/2 Fav
2009 Fiveforthree 7-11-10 Olde Crowbars Syndicate Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 5/4 Fav
2008 Blazing Bailey 6-11-10 Three Line Whip Alan King GB Robert Thornton 100/30 Fav
2007 Refinement 8-11-07 Michael Tabor Jonjo O’Neill GB A P McCoy 16/1
2006 Asian Maze 7-11-07 Sheila Moore Tom Mullins Ruby Walsh 8/13 Fav
2005 Carlys Quest 11-11-12 Mrs L Neville Ferdy Murphy GB Keith Mercer 25/1
2004 Rhinestone Cowboy 8-11-12 Sue Magnier Jonjo O’Neill GB Mr J P Magnier 5/2
2003 Holy Orders 6-11-12 Alan McLuckie Willie Mullins Shay Barry 6/1
2002 Limestone Lad 10-11-12 James Bowe James Bowe Paul Carberry 4/6 Fav
*2001 Bannow Bay 6-11-12 Linda Shanahan Christy Roche Charlie Swan 11/8 Fav
2000 Rubhahunish 9-11-11 Lone Star Racing P’ship Nigel Twiston-Davies GB Carl Llewellyn 5/1
1999 Anzum 8-12-00 Old Foresters Partnership David Nicholson GB Richard Johnson 7/1
1998 Derrymoyle 9-12-00 Herb M Stanley Michael Cunningham A P McCoy 10/1
1997 Paddy’s Return 5-11-12 Paddy O’Donnell Ferdy Murphy GB Norman Williamson 100/30
1996 Derrymoyle 7-12-00 Herb M Stanley Michael Cunningham Mark Dwyer 100/30
1995 Derrymoyle 6-11-11 Herb M Stanley Michael Cunningham Mark Dwyer 8/1
1994 Ultra Flutter 7-10-06 Donal Higgins Michael Hourigan Kevin O’Brien 7/2
1993 Always In Trouble 6-10-02 Margaret O’Rourke Michael O’Brien Jason Titley 8/1
1992 Shuil Ar Aghaidh 6-10-01 Mrs P Kiely Paddy Kiely Charlie Swan 2/1 Fav
* Run at Fairyhouse

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