Faugheen set for Irish Champion

Willie Mullins has issued an upbeat bulletin on star hurdlers Faugheen and Annie Power.

Faugheen: Worked well on Thursday morning

The last two winners of the Stan James Champion Hurdle haven't been seen this season, with Mullins stating on different occasions that he hasn't been happy with the pair.

However, both horses were entered in the Champion Hurdle and Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival this week, and both are in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on January 29.

Mullins is leaning towards running Faugheen in that race, with Annie Power set to reappear against her own sex if all goes to plan.

"Both worked well this morning and both have been pleasing me a lot more at home than they have been," Mullins told At The Races.

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"What I would like to do is get Faugheen there [the Irish Champion Hurdle] and get Annie Power to the mares' race at Punchestown. That would be the ideal scenario."

The Punchestown race is on February 22 and was won last year by Annie Power, who won the Champion Hurdle and the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle on her next two starts.

Faugheen is Sky Bet's 9/4 favourite for the Champion Hurdle, with Annie Power 5/1. The OLBG Mares' Hurdle is an alternate Cheltenham Festival option for Annie Power and she's 5/2 for that race.

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