Faugheen aims to bounce back to form in Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown

Saturday 3rd February, 2018 - 3:30pm Leopardstown - Irish Champion Hurdle

Willie Mullins has a sensational record in the Irish Champion Hurdle having won six of the last seven renewals of the Leopardstown Grade 1, and having relinquished the crown 12 months ago, the master of Closutton will attempt to recapture the coveted prize, and he will unleash a three-pronged attack on the 2018 renewal, and it will see Faugheen aim to bounce back from a disappointing performance last time out.

  • Willie Mullins has won six of the last seven renewals (saddles Faugheen, Melon, Bapaume)
  • Defi Du Seuil will fly the British flag in Grade 1 contest
  • Faugheen aims to bounce back from flop last time out

Saturday 3rd February - 3.30pm OddsWon/LostBet
Irish Champion Hurdle    
Tips Bapaume (each way)    Best Bet @ 25 / 1  

Faugheen Worth Taking On?

On the face of it, Faugheen at 11/8 with Unibet to win the Irish Champion Hurdle looks an absolute steal, but for a horse that was pulled up sharply last time out in the Ryanair Hurdle, can you back the 2016 winner of this race to regain his crown on the opening day of the Dublin Racing Festival?

At his best, Faugheen would cruise to victory in this event, and he shaped like he was back to his best when cruising to victory in the Morgiana Hurdle on his comeback run in November, but the warning signs were there to be seen early on his Ryanair Hurdle flop, and while Mullins has stated he is impressing at home, it's not worth backing Faugheen at the skinny odds available.

He will no doubt be sent to the front from the start, and the in-running punters will certainly be watching the 'Machine' like a hawk, but he may just lack that pizzazz he showed when dominating this division a couple of years ago, and he is worth avoiding here, and if he doesn't sparkle then his place in the Cheltenham Festival will certainly be up in the air.

Major Rivals To Faugheen

Melon will be the second shot fired by the Mullins gun, and he will be eager to bounce back from a third-placed finish in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December, and if he can recapture the form he showed when cruising to victory in the WKD Hurdle then he is an eye-catching player at 2/1 with Coral.

Defi Du Seuil will make the journey over from Britain, and last year's Triumph Hurdle hero will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing fourth in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot, but the 6/1 shot with Coral will enjoy a drop back to two miles, and could be a lively player, if producing his best.

Bapaume Best Of The Rest

Mick Jazz (10/1 with Coral) beat Faugheen in that aforementioned Ryanair Hurdle, and will be hoping to show that wasn't a fluke, but this will be tougher, while Supasundae (20/1), Jezki (20/1) and Bapaume (25/1 with Coral) will be another leading trio taking aim, and it's the latter that could run a huge race for the Mullins team, as he struggled over three miles last time out, and could enjoy the drop back in trip, and providing the eight runners line up, the former Grade 1-winning juvenile can make the frame in an intriguing renewal.

2018 Irish Champion Hurdle Odds

Posted: Thursday, 1st February 2018
Author: Steve Chambo

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