The Ruby Walsh column: Here's hoping Faugheen can show his swagger

Tue 14 Nov 2017

Ruby Walsh reveals the latest news on Faugheen and gives is the inside track on other Willie Mullins-trained horses

I injured my right hand in fall at Down Royal and for the first time in my life did as I was told and have taken a few days off.

With a bit of luck I’ll be back at Punchestown on Saturday and the following day I’m really looking forward to being reunited with Faugheen in the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle.

It has been a long time since he last ran but he’s in great order and John Codd, who rides and looks after him, is very happy with him.

We don’t know exactly what else will be in line-up - there are some big names among the other seven entries - but he’s an intended runner and it’s a case of fingers crossed.

Faugheen is very exciting and I hope he retains all his ability, but you never know until they go to the track.

His homework has been good and he’s got a lot of work under his belt - for instance he probably could have run in France in the summer.

Ruby walsh  seen here winning on faugheen in the 2015 stan james champion hurdle  has been moonlighting as a racing uk pundi

Walsh and Faugheen after winning the 2015 Champion Hurdle

Hopefully he will turn up on Sunday with the usual swagger that he has and get his career back on track.

Punchestown clashes with a very good meeting in Cheltenham. We are happy with what we have going there and fingers crossed we bag a few winners.

Among them could be Let’s Dance in the Frontline Security Grabel Mares Hurdle plus we have nice maidens in Naas and Cork.

Destination going places:

Next Destination looks a horse with a huge future after his 13-length win in a competitive maiden hurdle at Naas last Saturday.

He was fourth in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival in Match and we thought he was a nice horse who would want a trip. What I didn't expect was the turn of foot he showed in Naas.

At the same meeting, American Tom was third to Ball D’Arc in the Grade Three Poplar Square Chase on his first run since January.

He bowled along, jumped good and straight but ultimately just got tired. The winner was a fair horse last season and, with a run under his belt, had a fitness edge. On ratings he was entitled to do what he did but it was a good performance by him.

Footpad was very good when winning on his chasing debut by 11 lengths at Navan 24 hours later.

He ran a blinder when fourth in the Champion Hurdle, when keen, and has always shown a high level of form.

His schooling had been good and he made the Navan fences look small, when they are anything but. He won with a lot of authority and it was a very good performance.

On the same card in Navan, Stratum found Mengli Khan four lengths too strong in the Grade Three hurdle.

I don’t think the race suited either horse - it was muddling pace early and they both ran keen - but Mengli Khan had more to offer at end and won decisively.

I suppose we hoping for a bit more from Stratum and he is going to have to improve to beat Mengli Khan another day. He’s an ex-Flat horse, so perhaps the ground didn’t suit.

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