• Racing/
  • Faugheen To Drop Back In Trip

Herald Champion Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m

  • (5yo+, 2m, Class 1, 8 runners)
  • Winner €55,800 2nd €17,100 3rd €8,100 4th €2,700 5th €1,800
  • Going: Good to Yielding
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 3m 57.60s
  • Off time: 16:21:57
Full result
Result 16:20 Punchestown
Pos Horse Distance/th> Odds
1st 1 Faugheen 1/2f
2nd 6 Valseur Lido 12 9/1
3rd 4 Sgt Reckless 8/1
  • Last Updated: April 28 2014, 18:43 BST

Willie Mullins caught a few people on the hop for the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown on Tuesday by declaring Faugheen rather than Vautour.

Faugheen: Drops back in trip at Punchestown
Faugheen: Drops back in trip at Punchestown

Both horses won their respective races at Cheltenham in impressive fashion but will be campaigned over different distances at this week's Festival.

Faugheen won the Neptune at Cheltenham over two miles and five furlongs but drops down to two miles in a move Mullins hopes may see him jump better.

The County Carlow handler also runs Wicklow Brave, sixth in the Supreme at Cheltenham but disappointing at Fairyhouse last time out behind stablemate Valseur Lido, who is also in the line-up.

"Faugheen made two mistakes at Cheltenham and people are saying that because he made two mistakes that he was more impressive. It was a huge performance, however, and he will be exciting in the novice hurdle," Mullins told At The Races.

"He is possibly good enough to come back to two miles because he can go a gallop and maybe he'd be better jumping over two miles.

"He doesn't strike me as a Champion Hurdle horse but they are the things we'll have to decide."

Western Boy lost many lengths at Cheltenham by jumping to his right when seventh in the Supreme but trainer Pat Fahy said: "We had him treated for a little muscle he pulled which may have been causing him to go out to his right.

"All of those that finished around him at Cheltenham have franked the form and when you think how much ground he must have lost, he ran a great race.

"He lost about four lengths at the second last and about half a length at every other hurdle so he did very well to finish where he did. 

"He's going there fresher than some, too, as he hasn't run since Cheltenham and quite a few have. It should be lovely ground. I always felt he wanted nice ground but he's run his best race on soft against Vautour."

Mick Channon's Sgt Reckless made up plenty of late ground at Cheltenham to take fourth spot in the Supreme and went on to finish second at Aintree to Josses Hill.

Channon said: "He probably just wanted to be there a little bit later than he was at Aintree, but that's the way racing goes sometimes. If everything falls right for him, he'd have a very good chance. We would like some decent ground for him, we just hope it's not too soft."

Fellow British raider The Liquidator needs to bounce back from two poor runs after having looked promising earlier in the season.

Real Steel, Quickpick Vic complete the eight-runner field.