Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting has certainly provided plenty of talking points and arguably its biggest star Faugheen has his chance to prompt debate over his Unibet Champion Hurdle claims when lining up at the track today.
He is no longer favourite for the Cheltenham highlight he won in 2015 – Tuesday’s Christmas Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air heads the market to retain his crown – but a big performance from Willie Mullins’ ace could shake things up.
The Ryanair Hurdle Faugheen runs in is undoubtedly the highlight of Leopardstown’s card, which also includes the Grade 1 Neville Hotels Novice Chase.
Limerick is the other Irish track hosting action, while Southwell stages an all-weather Flat card in Britain.
Following a 7am inspection, Doncaster will look again at 9am but Kelso’s fixture is off.
Southwell – 12.15 first race
Leopardstown – 12.20
Chase – Yielding to soft (from yielding, soft in places); Hurdle – Soft (from soft, yielding in places)
Doncaster – 12.25
Chase – Soft, good to soft in places; Hurdle – Good to soft, soft in places (Inspection at 9am)
Limerick – 12.30
What to back
David Jennings provides the best bets from Ireland and Maddy Playle has the ten-second tip …
What to read
Opening Show reflects on what may lie ahead if Faugheen wins and sets up a mouthwatering clash with Buveur D’Air in the Champion Hurdle.
John Randall, meanwhile, has taken a look back at some of 2017’s record breakers.
What to watch
Your star of the year? Here are ours …
… and some expert advice from our Postcast team
The best of Racing Post Sport
Willie Mullins could probably do with a pick-me-up and if he could rely on one horse to do just that, it would probably be Faugheen – they don’t call him the machine for nothing.
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