Cheltenham: Ruby Walsh ponders whether Faugheen will go to Festival

Faugheen - what a horse


Paddy asked me on From The Horse’s Mouth if there a chance now that Faugheen’s season is over after the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown? I don’t think there was much left to work on. Willie did kind of think that Sunday would be his Gold Cup.

Willie’s plan at the start of the year was to win a race, and if he could possibly win a grade one it’d be amazing. He’s won his three chase starts including two grade ones now.

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His performances have been better but he’s a brilliant, brilliant horse and the crowd really got a kick out of what he did last week.

It was just a special day for him to win the race he won in the fashion that he won it, the reception he just incredible.

It was amazing to see – he’s a wonderful horse.

It was a brave call from Willie Mullins to go chasing with him and for Rich Ricci to allow him to do that. It was brilliant that he won.

What’s the fallout from it? I don’t know. Willie was pretty non-committal over where he was going to go with him in the immediate aftermath.

Having reviewed the race during the week, watched how he went through the race, if he was going to go to Cheltenham you would imagine he would go up slightly in trip.

I know that race was raced at the same distance the Marsh Novices Chase would be run at but you’d have thought that on slightly quicker ground, racing at a higher tempo, his jumping might come under more scrutiny so stepping up to an RSA might suit him better.

The race Faugheen won tends to be a pointer to the RSA because there are only two fences in the last four or five furlongs at Leopardstown so it’s more galloping which is stamina sapping. Horses that do tend to win that race go up a bit in trip.

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