Weekend Review – Faugheen For Champion

It was a weekend with a bit for everyone, starting with yet another spectacular win for Faugheen, and climaxing in a Guineas double for Ryan Moore, who rode both Gleneagles and Legatissimo to victory.

“Moore” Success For Ryan

Having been installed as No.1 jockey for Ballydoyle, Ryan Moore showed why Aidan O’Brien made him his choice by delivering Gleneagles late to win by over 2l on Saturday. It was a performance that smacked of class, as he travelled and quickened well, while his 4/1 SP was a bonus to punters, having traded shorter ante-post.

Gleneagles to Emulate Henry?
O’Brien was quick to map a 2,000 Guineas/Royal Ascot route for Gleneagles, where he could face a rematch with Full Mast in the St James’s Palace. Full Mast was the French colt awarded the race at Longchamp in which Gleneagles was disqualified, and it would be a mouth-watering clash should the pair face-off at Ascot.

The Irish 2,000 Guineas is next for Gleneagles, though, a race in which Ballydoyle managed the Guineas double with Henrythenavigator in 2008, and odds of around 4/6 for Gleneagles to emulate that feat look tempting.

Legatissimo Shortens For Oaks
As for Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas, Ryan Moore was again seen at his very best on Legatissimo, when again coming from off the fast pace to win by under 1l, although she looked to be going way at the finish, winning with a bit in hand.

David Wachman’s filly could now head for the Oaks, as her dam was a 1m2f winner, and sister to an Irish Derby winner, so it’s no surprise to see interest in her at 4/1, as there could be even more to come at Epsom. She’ll need to be good, though, as the last 1,000 Guineas winner to follow-up at Epsom was Kazzia in 2002.

Stoute Enjoys Bragging Rights
Elsewhere at Newmarket, Ryan Moore teamed up with former boss, Sir Michael Stoute, on Bragging, who won the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes, and could now head to the Pretty Polly at the Curragh. The disappointment was Andre Fabre’s fifth-placed, Fintry, who now has a bit to prove.

Stoute and Moore missed out with Telescope in the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes, despite last year’s Hardwicke Stakes winner having travelled supremely well into a 3l lead before being mugged late on by Luca Cumani’s, Second Step. It was still a good reappearance from Telescope, though, who tired up the hill having raced freely, and he will be a force once more in his defence of the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot.

As for Second Step, then he may also head for the Hardwicke, although there is a feeling Telescope may come out on top in a rematch.

Cirrus The Wonderhorse
Meanwhile over in France, the evergreen 9yo, Cirrus Des Aigles won his third Prix Ganay, and seventh Group 1 in total, making all to hold off Al Kazeem by almost 2l. Hopefully, Cirrus Des Aigles will head to Epsom in defence of the Coronation Cup. Another heading to the UK is the 5yo, Able Friend, who took his record to 8-12 with a highly impressive Group 1 win in Hong Kong. He now heads for the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot where he has shortened into 2/1 joint-favourite with Solow.

Faugheen For Champion

We end with the mighty, Faugheen, though, who made it another superb Punchestown for trainer, Willie Mullins. The 7yo star took his record to 10-10 with a new career best effort, and one that sees him as the rock-solid 5/4 favourite (from 6/4) for next year’s Champion Hurdle.

*Prices correct at time of publication.