Mullins Ace Faugheen Given Three Chase Entries At The Cheltenham Festival

 Jan 24 2020

Now 12, Faugheen won what is known as the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle in 2014 before capturing the Champion Hurdle a year later.

Injury kept him off the track from January 2016 until the November the following year when he won the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown. After that he lost some of his brilliance, despite another Grade 1 victory over three miles at the 2018 Punchestown festival.

He failed to win in four outings last season, but has been reinvented as a chaser this term, winning at Punchestown in November before landing a Limerick Grade 1 over Christmas.

Owned by Rich and Susannah Ricci, the Willie Mullins-trained superstar is in line for his fifth festival appearance at Cheltenham this spring and featured among 53 entries for the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase on Thursday.

The 11-year-old Birthlaw, who struck in 1946, is the oldest winner of that race, while Faugheen  was also entered in the Marsh Novices' Chase, the new name for the JLT that has been dominated by six- and seven-year-olds in its brief history.

The popular gelding is also in the National Hunt Chase, which is kinder to older horses, with Flimsy Truth the last horse of that age to score in 1997.

The amateur race was the source of much controversy last year, resulting in several races including a shortened distance, and has attracted 61 entries, seven fewer than last year's tally.

Faugheen's highly regarded stablemate Laurina is also in the Marsh and RSA. The latter is seemingly the only option over fences for the Nicky Henderson-trained Champ, who fell in the Dipper at Cheltenham this month when bidding to put the final touches to his festival preparation.

Pauling purring over Arkle candidate Global Citizen
Ben Pauling, who won last season's National Hunt Chase with Le Breuil, has his sights set on the Arkle with Wayward Lad winner Global Citizen.

"He jumped well and won nicely at Kempton, and the plan now is to head straight to Cheltenham for the Arkle," the trainer said. 

"He is at his best when he is fresh, so we will just keep him ticking over between now and then.

"I think spring ground and him being fresh will be to his advantage and I would be hopeful of an exciting performance from him in March."

Global Citizen is one of 38 entries in the Racing Post Arkle, with leading Irish contenders Notebook, Fakir D'Oudairies, Cash Back and Melon.



- Racing Post

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