By Racinguk.com staff
Faugheen was again uneasy in the betting for the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle on Tuesday as the guessing game over whether he will run at Leopardstown on Saturday led to his main market rivals again being shortened.
A general Even money chance at the start of the week, Faugheen is now a standout 13-8 with Ladbrokes - and a general 6-4 elsewhere - to bounce back from his lacklustre run at Leopardstown over Christmas when he was pulled up.Faugheen has been pushed out to 13-8 for the Irish Champion Hurdle (PA)
By contrast, Melon, his stablemate, and Defi Du Seuil, winner of the Triumph Hurdle last season, continue to contract.
The former is now a top-priced 2-1 while Defi Du Seuil, who was available at 14-1 last week, is now a general 7-2 chance.
Faugheen has gone off odds-on favourite for his past ten starts and has never started bigger than 6-4 under Rules.
The fact that the ten-year-old he is currently trading at a bigger price reflects the fact that he ran way below his best last time and that he has yet to be confirmed as a definite runner by Willie Mullins.
“We are playing a bit of a guessing game when it comes to the Irish Champion Hurdle,” Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said. “We made Faugheen even money when we thought he was running but with strong support coming for Melon and Defi Du Seuil, we’re not so sure now and have pushed his price out.”
In addition to Faugheen and Melon, Mullins has also left in Bapaume.
The Gordon Elliott-trained Mick Jazz was a shock winner of the Ryanair Hurdle following Faugheen's flop. He is set to renew rivalries, while Elliott also has brilliant novice Samcro engaged.
Jessica Harrington's pair of Jezki and Supasundae and Identity Thief from Henry de Bromhead's yard complete the potential line-up.
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