/ Racing

Faugheen drops to minimum trip in the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown

Updated: Sunday, 27 Apr 2014 17:48 | Comments

Faugheen is unbeaten in five starts under Rules
Faugheen is unbeaten in five starts under Rules

Faugheen, a winner over two miles and five furlongs at the Cheltenham Festival, will drop down to two miles for the first time over jumps in the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown on Tuesday.

The Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old is unbeaten in four races over the smaller obstacles between two and a half and three miles and won the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Prestbury Park last month.

He did, however, win a bumper over the minimum distance on this course in May 2013.

With Faugheen lining up on the opening day of the Punchestown Festival, Mullins revealed fellow Susannah Ricci-owned runner Vautour, who won the two-mile Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham so emphatically, would step up to two and a half miles in the Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle on Friday.

Faugheen's seven rivals include stablemates Valseur Lido and Wicklow Brave, while the Tony Martin-trained Quickpick Vic, Philip Fenton's Real Steel and Pat Fahy's Western Boy make up the home challenge.

The field is completed by British raiders Sgt Reckless from Mick Channon's yard and the David Pipe-trained The Liquidator.

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