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Posted 2018-01-23 20:22:37  
Faugheen Set for Return in Irish Champion Hurdle

Faugheen is set to return to action next month in the Irish Champion Hurdle where connections will be hoping he can put his disappointing showing last time out in the Ryanair Hurdle behind him.

The former Champion Hurdle winner was pulled up by jockey Paul Townend at Leopardstown after he weakened following the third hurdle from home. Mullins ran a number of tests on his horse after the race but he was given the all clear which leaves him on course for the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Faugheen made a successful return to action after almost two years off the track when he scored in the Grade One Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown back in November. That victory resulted in the bookmakers slashing his odds for the Champion Hurdle where he became the new favourite for the race he won in 2015.

Mullins’ superstar is now 7/2 for the 2018 Champion Hurdle at William Hill, who have betting available on all 27 races at the Festival as well as daily horse racing from around the world. Last year’s winner Buveur D’Air tops the market at 8/13 as he is unbeaten since landing the most prestigious hurdle race in 2017.
Faugheen won the Irish Champion Hurdle in 2016 when he beat a field which included Arctic Fire and Nichols Canyon by 15 lengths. Sadly, it was just weeks later that he was then ruled out for the rest of the season with a leg injury.

Melon To Lead The Challenge Against Stablemate Faugheen
Mullins is expected to be double-handed in the Irish Champion Hurdle this year as Melon is also entered at Leopardstown. The Irish Champion Trainer has won six of the last renewals of the race and with the top two in the betting this year, he has a strong chance of enhancing that record.

Melon has had two runs so far this season. He made his reappearance at Down Royal in the WKD Hurdle where he scored by over four lengths in the Grade Two contest. The Irish horse then travelled across to Cheltenham for the International Hurdle but he could only come home third behind My Tent or Yours and The New One, respectively.

The former French flat raider finished second in the 2017 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and is expected to take his chance in the Champion Hurdle in March. A victory in the Irish equivalent of the 2m race will see his odds cut for Festival glory.

Mick Jazz Looking To Build On Career Best Win
Mick Jazz won the biggest prize of his career last month when he landed the Grade One Ryanair Hurdle at odds of 14/1. Gordon Elliott’s runner is now off a career-high mark and a victory in the Irish Champion Hurdle in February will help him establish himself as one of the leading horses in the division.
Elliott has never won the Irish Champion Hurdle so Mick Jazz will provide him with his maiden success if he can topple the Mullins duo and the rest of the field for the biggest hurdle race of the season in Ireland next month. 

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