sport

Faugheen to drop back in trip

Faugheen will drop down to two miles in the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown on Tuesday.

The Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old is unbeaten in four races over the smaller obstacles between two and a half and three miles and won the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Prestbury Park last month.

He did, however, win a bumper over the minimum distance on this course in May 2013.

With Faugheen lining up on the opening day of the Punchestown Festival, Mullins revealed fellow Susannah Ricci-owned runner Vautour, who won the two-mile Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham so emphatically, would step up to two and a half miles in the Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle on Friday.

Faugheen's seven rivals include stablemates Valseur Lido and Wicklow Brave, while the Tony Martin-trained Quickpick Vic, Philip Fenton's Real Steel and Pat Fahy's Western Boy make up the home challenge.

The field is completed by British raiders Sgt Reckless from Mick Channon's yard and the David Pipe-trained The Liquidator.