Racing – Mullins expects more from Faugheen

Patrick Mullins says Faugheen is yet to prove he is back to his best ahead of a potential return. The 2015 Cheltenham Champion Hurdle hero missed last year's festival with injury and has not raced since, but has an entry for this month's Irish Champion Hurdle. Patrick Mullins, assistant trainer to father Willie, says there is no major reason why Faugheen has not been seen this season and revealed that the eight-year-old simply hasn't been showing the spark connections would like to see. "Hopefully Faugheen can start to spark in his work and we can get him back to the track. Neither he nor Annie [Power] has sparked and Dad is taking a patient approach," Mullins Jnr told the Irish Independent. "We'd have liked to have Faugheen out earlier but we've not been happy with the way he has sparked: he hasn't in the way we'd have liked. It's nothing serious and he's riding away but we're very much erring on the side of caution, with March the main aim. "He had a bit of a suspensory ligament last year, which is quite a common injury. He seems fine from that." Faugheen can be backed at 2/1 to regain his Cheltenham crown in March with bet365 and Annie Power is 5/2.

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