Ruby Walsh was again celebrating in the Susannah Ricci silksPICTURE: Getty Images
Well-backed Faugheen gets punters off to flyer
Report: Cheltenham Festival, Wednesday
Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Registered As Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle) (Grade 1) 2m5f, 4yo+
IT WAS a case of deja vu at the Cheltenham Festival as trainer Willie Mullins, jockey Ruby Walsh and owner Susannah Ricci tasted victory in the opening race for the second day in a row with the well-backed 6-4 favourite Faugheen.
Twenty-four hours earlier the trio celebrated Vautour's success in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and the champagne corks were popping again as Faugheen became the second Mullins juvenile to maintain his unbeaten record in the manner of an exciting type.
While Vautour’s jumping was slick, Faugheen’s was far from it but it did not matter as his engine purred up the hill to further advertise the might of Mullins’ high-quality team of novices.
Similar to the Supreme, Walsh pressed the turbocharger on the turn for home and the rest were left to fight it out for minor honours, with Ballyalton (20-1) Rathvinden (11-2) filling the places.
The rider returned to rapturous scenes in the winner's enclosure, cheers undoubtedly coming from punters who followed the tide of money that came for Faugheen and forced his price into 6-4 from a morning high of 9-4.
More to follow . . .