Willie Mullins has Morgiana Hurdle in mind for Faugheen

Wed 18 Oct 2017

By Raciunguk.com staff

Willie Mullins reiterated his desire to run Faugheen in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown in November.

The 2015 champion hurdler has been absent since January 2016, but the brilliant nine-year-old is likely to return to the fray this autumn.

Mullins told the Irish Times: "It will probably be the Morgiana. That's the point we're aiming to start him off in.

"We had him fairly fit before he went out so I think he will be fairly forward by the time the Morgiana comes around."

Faugheen has won seven Grade Ones in a dazzling career, but a stress fracture has left him sidelined for 21 months.

His one defeat under Mullins' tutelage came in the 2015 Morgiana Hurdle, when he was defeated half a length by stablemate Nichols Canyon.

Mullins has yet to formulate a gameplan for Yorkhill, who features prominently in the betting for races like the Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle.

The seven-year-old has won at the last two Cheltenham Festivals and did really well to take top honours in the JLT Novices' Chase in March.

That was his fourth Grade One triumph, but plans for Yorkhill remain fluid at this stage.


Mullins said: "We haven't even started schooling him yet so whether he goes over hurdles or fences I don't know yet. He is in great form."

The trainer reports Melbourne Cup contenders Thomas Hobson and Max Dynamite in top trim ahead of the big race at Flemington on November 7.

The County Carlow handler has recruited Joao Moreira to ride the former, but he is still on the lookout for a jockey for 2015 Melbourne Cup runner-up Max Dynamite.

Mullins said: "Both travelled very well and lost very little weight, which is a great sign. Thomas is in good shape, fit and raring to go.

"So is Max although he will probably need a little more work.

"We'll see how that goes before thinking about a jockey for him."

Stablemate Riven Light had also been part of Mullins' Australian team, but his journey was cut short after he fractured an off-fore joint during the Caulfield Stakes last weekend.

His trainer is, however, optimistic the Rich Ricci-owned five-year-old will make a full recovery.

Mullins said: "He's had two screws put in and the prognosis is good. It will take time but he should be back next season."


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