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The significance of one last hurrah for FaugheenPosted on Monday 10th September 2018 @ 10.03

Cheltenham, Champion Day 2018....the time inches closer towards 3.30pm and the crowd’s energy levels begin to pick up again.

It's always a long day at the Festival – tired feet, queues at the bars and beaten dockets all add to a sense of fatigue with the crowd as the day wears on.

The media likes to portray Cheltenham as a cauldron of noise and passion. To a point, that’s true. But the crowd needs to be fed with all that makes racing great – shocks, comebacks, returning heroes and supremely dominant performances.

There were two main protagonists before the 2018 Champion Hurdle, Buveur D'Air and Faugheen. When the race was over, however, there was only one, Nicky Henderson's two-time champion. There was a sense of deflation in the crowd, with the exception of those who had 'gone big' on Buveur D'Air. Miracles don’t always happen.

Buveur D'Air favourite for third successive Champion Hurdle

Buveur D'Air is undoubtedly a great horse, one of the best hurdlers we have seen in recent times. But, even should he win a third Champion Hurdle in 2019 (he is 7/2 ante-post favourite with 888sport), he will still not be held in as high affection as Faugheen. It’s a question of romance, not talent. Faugheen is the Alex Higgins to Steve Davis, the John McEnroe to Bjorn Borg.

That’s not to say that Faugheen spent his career an underdog, far from it. Rather it serves as a testament to the memories he gave to the fans. There was a visible will to see him recapture the lightning in a bottle, the magic that saw him become one of the greats in 2015. Indeed, has any horse of the modern era been more associated with the word 'comeback'?

There was a sense of finality after Faugheen’s defeat in the Champion Hurdle. That sense actually came before the last, as five horses, including Buveur D'Air, passed Faugheen like a slingshot. Heads, mostly Irish, were shaking among the crowds; The Machine was now finished.

Tremendous win at Punchestown for Faugheen

Horse racing, of course, doesn’t always follow the script. Around six weeks later at Punchestown, Willie Mullins put Faugheen into the Grade 1 Champion Stayers' Hurdle. Faugheen’s odds of 11/2, third favourite behind Penhill and Bacardys, smacked of 'just in case'. He had been backed down from 10/1, but it seemed the smart money would go elsewhere.

Faugheen didn't read the script. Not only did he win, he trounced Penhill, Stayers' Hurdle winner at Cheltenham, by 13 lengths. Faugheen didn't even seem to break into a sweat with his first win over 3 miles since his novice days. If anything, he looked like he had plenty left to spare as he passed the finish line.

It makes the horses betting odds for the 2019 Stayers Hurdle' required reading as we approach the start of the national hunt season. Faugheen has been made 5/1 favourite by 888sport and others, followed by Penhill (7/1), Apple’s Jade (10/1) and Supasundae (12/1). Punters are still somewhat stunned.

The significance of it cannot be underestimated. If Faugheen goes on to win the Stayers’ next year, then he will have a story to rival that of Sprinter Sacré in 2016. The thing to remember is that punters trust Willie Mullins. If the legendary Irish trainer says that Faugheen is equipped to win the Stayers’, then those odds will tumble. It will be worth keeping an eye on things through the winter, but one last tilt at the top of racing is the least that Faugheen deserves.

Article Posted on Monday 10th September 2018 @ 10.03

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Starting Gate

lingfield18-02-19 Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Standard Open NH Flat Race (AW)2m - £2274 - Soft-heavy in places; aw standard to slow

1 Eye Of An Eagle40/1

2 Glengar33/1

3 Lantiern8/1

4 Richie Valentine33/1

5 Steady Away8/1

6 Arkyn5/4

7 Pour Joie6/4

8 Ehmaj6/1

9 Ethandexter100/1

10 Reeceltic66/1

11 Libbretta100/1

12 Parisian Affair33/1

carlisle18-02-19 Novices' Hurdle2m 3f 61y - £4549 - Soft-good to soft in places

1 Champagne Court7/4

2 Hill Sixteen3/1

3 Murphy's Law20/1

4 Peak Time100/1

5 Pleney33/1

6 The Big Galloper6/1

7 The Boo Box100/1

8 Vis A Vis15/8

9 Lily's Gem15/2

10 Retrace33/1

11 Try It You100/1

lingfield18-02-19 Maiden Hurdle2m - £3249 - Soft-heavy in places; aw standard to slow

1 Alrightjack7/1

2 Dessie's Diamond14/1

3 Smiths Cross4/6

4 Test Ride100/1

5 Topofthecotswolds3/1

6 Lace Bonnet40/1

7 Given Name100/1

8 Karakoram7/1

9 Playa Blanca9/1

carlisle18-02-19 Racing TV Handicap Hurdle3m 1f - £4549 - Soft-good to soft in places

1 Champagne Chaser8/1

2 Some Can Dance10/1

3 Misfits15/2

4 Sauvignon9/2

5 Petite Ganache3/1

6 Wig Wam Wiggle5/1

7 Leopard20/1

8 Mid Day Gun14/1

9 Turtle Cask12/1

10 Purple Harry16/1

11 Agent Louise12/1

12 Lammturner25/1

13 Espoir Moriviere20/1

14 Helamis16/1

lingfield18-02-19 Handicap Chase2m 7f 110y - £2469 - Soft-heavy in places; aw standard to slow

1 The Boss's Dream8/1

2 Waikiki Waves11/4

3 Hepburn20/1

4 Foxy Lass40/1

5 Danseur Du Large20/1

6 Big Time Frank11/4

7 Burgess Dream6/1

8 Goring One15/2

9 Snowball7/1

10 What Larks12/1

11 Canyouhearmenow25/1

12 Onurbike40/1

carlisle18-02-19 Watch Irish Racing On Racing TV Handicap Chase2m 4f - £6498 - Soft-good to soft in places

1 Native Robin11/4

2 Event Of Sivola16/1

3 Ryalex15/2

4 Never Up9/1

5 Absolutely Dylan5/2

6 Rhymers Stone16/1

7 Pookie Pekan5/1

8 Ueueteotl10/1

9 Knocknamona11/1

lingfield18-02-19 Free Bets At Betting Rant Novices' Hurdle2m 3f 110y - £3249 - Soft-heavy in places; aw standard to slow

1 Eye In The Sky16/1

2 Dominateur11/8

3 Ector100/1

4 Jog On33/1

5 New Age Dawning13/8

6 Risky Gold25/1

7 Writingsonthewall66/1

8 Destinee Royale3/1

9 Scarlet Couture40/1

carlisle18-02-19 Like Racing TV On Facebook Handicap Hurdle2m 3f 61y - £11372 - Soft-good to soft in places

1 Taxmeifyoucan9/1

2 Pain Au Chocolat12/1

3 Sakhee's City14/1

4 Thosedaysaregone7/4

5 Teescomponents Lad9/1

6 Justatenner10/1

7 Saint De Vassy9/2

8 Informateur8/1

9 Skipping On8/1

10 Mcgowan's Pass16/1

Latest Results


NavanLadbrokes Odds Boost (Pro/Am) Flat Race

111Thatsy10/11 f
312Winding Roe16/1
Winning TrainerG Elliott
Winning JockeyMr B O'Neill
Runners12 ran
Distances1 1/4 length, 11 lengths
Tote Win£1.60
Pl£1.30, £5.50

Market Handicap Chase

16Miss Amelia2/1 jf
24Picknick Park9/4
33Minella Voucher2/1 jf
Winning TrainerM Walford
Winning JockeyD A Jacob
Runners7 ran
Distances1 1/4 length, 15 lengths
Tote Win£2.90
Pl£1.90, £1.40

HuntingdonDownload The MansionBet App Handicap Chase

19Coopers Square7/1
22Sands Cove9/2
31Call Carlo7/1
Winning TrainerT H Weston
Winning JockeyAlan Johns
Runners9 ran
Distances11 lengths, 32 lengths
Tote Win£6.30
Pl£2.80, £1.80

NavanLadbrokes Bet On The Cheltenham Festival Mares Handicap Hurdle

112Dragon Houdini10/1
210Liffeydale Dreamer12/1
Winning TrainerShane Crawley
Winning JockeyD Meyler
Runners13 ran
Distances3 3/4 lengths, 1 1/2 length
Tote Win£12.20
Pl£4.40, £5.00, £1.30

Market RasenMayors Race Handicap Chase

14Brave Spartacus3/1
22Rainy Day Dylan7/1
33Cafe Au Lait16/1
Winning TrainerG Boanas
Winning JockeyRoss Chapman
Runners5 ran
Distances7 lengths, 18 lengths
Tote Win£3.60
Pl£2.20, £3.70

HuntingdonDownload The MansionBet App Handicap Hurdle

13The Welsh Paddies4/1
27Querry Horse11/1
311Some Operator6/1
Winning TrainerKerry Lee
Winning JockeyRichard Patrick
Runners10 ran
Distances4 1/2 lengths, 3 3/4 lengths
Tote Win£4.60
Pl£1.50, £2.30, £2.70

NavanBoardsmill Stud Hunters Chase

17Ucello Conti4/7 f
22Coastal Tiep14/1
Winning TrainerG Elliott
Winning JockeyMr B O'Neill
Runners6 ran
Distances3 1/2 lengths, 7 1/2 lengths
Tote Win£1.50
Pl£1.02, £3.60

Market RasenLove Lincolnshire Wolds Novices' Chase

21Chosen Path4/9
Winning TrainerG McPherson
Winning JockeyKielan Woods
Runners2 ran
Distances6 lengths
Tote Win£2.00