Posted: 14th Nov 2015
Faugheen: best price 11-10 to defend his Champion Hurdle crownPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
RUBY WALSH is expecting Faugheen to start his season in style in Sunday's stanjames.com Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown, claiming the unbeaten Champion Hurdle winner to be in better shape than when he returned to action last season.
Unbeaten in ten career starts, Faugheen moved the head of the two-mile pecking order over hurdles with a brilliant front-running performance at Cheltenham in March before finishing last season with an emphatic eight-length win at Punchestown in May.
A best price 11-10 with Paddy Power to defend his Champion Hurdle crown in 2016, Faugheen faces five rivals on Sunday, including stablemates Nichols Canyon and Wicklow Brave.
'Disappointed if he doesn't extend his record'
"He worked really well on Tuesday morning, we couldn't be happier with him, so fingers crossed things will go to plan," Walsh told the Irish Examiner.
He added: "I'd say he's definitely more forward going to Punchestown than he was going to Ascot for his first run of last season.
"Wicklow Brave, Nichols Canyon and the other runners have a stone and a half and more to make up on him.
"Fair to point out Wicklow Brave has a fitness edge, but I think Faugheen is the best hurdler in training and will be very disappointed if he doesn't extend his unblemished record."
Identity Thief, Plinth and Thomas Edison complete the Grade 1 field.
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