• Racing/
  • Faugheen A Force To Be Reckoned With

Meath Novice Hurdle 2m 4f

  • (4yo+, 2m 4f, 8 runners)
  • Winner €8,970 2nd €2,080 3rd €910 4th €520
  • Going: Good to Yielding
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 5m 1.70s
  • Off time: 13:16:11
  • Last Updated: December 7 2013, 14:42 GMT

Faugheen's unbeaten record remained intact after he continued his education with a stylish success at Navan.

Willie Mullins: Trainer of the exciting Faugheen
Willie Mullins: Trainer of the exciting Faugheen

The 1/9 chance was made to work a little harder than his backers might have preferred when he put in a fiddly jump at the second-last flight and leader Empire Of Dirt, upon whom Davy Russell was hard at work, briefly extended his advantage.

But the hotly-touted Willie Mullins-trained winner was straight back on the bridle under Ruby Walsh and surged past Empire Of Dirt (7/1) as they took the final hurdle before extending clear for victory by four and a quarter lengths. The Winkler (12/1) finished back in third.

Mullins won't have to commit to a particular target at the Cheltenham Festival for some time yet, but his charge remains towards the forefront of the betting for all three novice hurdle contests.

Sky Bet cut Faugheen's odds from 12/1 to 10/1 for Neptune Novices' Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett, leaving him unchanged at 20/1 for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

Walsh said: "His jumping was better today, but there is still room for improvement. He's done very little racing and Willie was keen to give him another run in a winners' race rather than go for one of the top-class races.

"He's entitled to take his chance in the big time now."

Patrick Mullins, representing his father, added: "Ruby said he'll be better with more jumping as he was a little untidy, but he has a huge engine. He could go up or down in trip and is probably one for Christmas.

"Hopefully he'll be a Cheltenham horse in time and all of his form is working out well."

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