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Schedule – November 2015

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Faugheen to shine at Punchestown

Faugheen should take his unbeaten record to eleven wins when he lines up in today’s featured, Queally Group Celebrating 35 Years In Naas Punchestown Champion Hurdle, on Day Four of the Punchestown Festival.

 

It’s been a remarkable week thus far for champion trainer Willie Mullins, as he heads in to the final two days with ten winners notched already, six of them at Grade One level.

 

And, Faugheen should make it a seventh Grade One winner of the week for Mullins and bring him closer to topping his record thirteen winners at the festival.

 

Crowned the Champion Hurdler at Cheltenham in March, Faugheen proved a lot of the doubters wrong, making his own running before powering up the hill under Ruby Walsh to record a one, two, three for trainer, Mullins.

 

Arctic Fire was the closest to him that day finishing fast to get within half a length of the winner at the line and he looks the only minor threat today.

 

Reported to be fresh from his final flight fall at Aintree, when challenging eventual winner, Jezki, Paul Townend’s mount will give his stable mate most to do, but will have to settle for second again.

 

He isn’t a betting proposition, like a lot of the Willie Mullins runners this week, so it’s another race to sit back and watch a superstar in action.

 

The all powerful Mullins and Walsh combination provide the favourite for the other Grade One on today’s card, the Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle over two and a half miles.

 

Nichols Canyon didn’t get the respect he deserved after his two Grade One victories in Ireland this season. He’s followed those wins up with a win at Aintree at the highest level over today’s trip and he should be very hard to beat.

 

Mullins is responsible for four of the six runners and it could be another clean sweep of the placing’s for the Closutton trainer with, Sempre Medici, Outlander and McKilnley also set to take their chance.

 

Alpha Des Obeaux steps back in trip to two and a half miles today after his crashing fall at the final flight at Aintree when set to battle out the finish with Thistlecrack. If he has recovered from that fall he could make a bold bid, but Nichols Canyon ticks all the right boxes and can land his fourth Grade One of the season.

 

On The Fringe should be capable of making it a Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown Hunters Chase treble in the concluding Racing Post Champion Hunters Chase.

 

A winner of the race in 2010, 2012 and also last year’s renewal he can give Enda Bolger and Nina Carberry another Punchestown winner.

 

The Fillies Bumper has attracted a maximum field, with Willie Mullins responsible for no fewer that five of the runners.

 

Morning Run was an impressive winner last year for Mullins and his son Patrick and they team up today with, Presenting mare, Dani Salamanca.

 

The handicap chases look tricky as always, but it might be worth taking a chance on Thomas Crapper in the Novice Handicap and last year’s winner Burn and Turn in the Mares Handicap.

 

And the two mile Novice Hurdle can go the way of Leopardstown Maiden winner, Theophilus, for the in-form Danny Mullins and Dessie McDonagh.

 

Conor O’Hehir


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