Faugheen: was expected to successfully defend Champion Hurdle crownPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos
Suspicious betting patterns investigated
THE BHA is investigating suspicious betting patterns regarding the withdrawal of Faugheen from last season's Champion Hurdle.
Trained by Willie Mullins, who is not suspected of any wrongdoing, Faugheen was the odds-on favourite for the Cheltenham Festival Grade 1, and was also part of several multiple bets involving other Mullins-trained runners for the meeting.
However, the eight-year-old was ruled out of the race 0n Feburary 17, 27 days before the festival, with a sore suspensory ligament. Stablemate Annie Power was supplemented following Faugheen's injury and went on to win the race.
Several lay bets were struck on Faugheen before news of his injury emerged, with the amounts involved significant enough to affect Faugheen's price with bookmakers and on the betting exchanges.
The Turf Club is assisting the BHA in their inquiries, and, while the identity of those who leaked the information has been established, it is not known what action, if any, can be taken.
It is also known that the punters involved have not been paid any winnings from the lay bets struck on Faugheen.
Robin Mounsey, BHA media manager, said on Sunday: "It is BHA policy not to comment on investigations or speculation surrounding potential investigations."