Belfast Telegraph

Shaneshill and Faugheen are pick of Mullins' lot

By Robert Fenton

One likely outcome on the Festival's second day is that the Wetherby's Champion Bumper crown will return to Ireland, courtesy of Willie Mullins.

The home contingent are a modest lot and shouldn't be up to stopping 'Willie boy' from following up on last year's surprise 25/1 winner Brian Hill.

He has a strong entry in Black Hercules and Shaneshill, both in the same ownership with Killultagh Vic.

It's just a question of picking the right one and that has to be Shaneshill. He was a very wide-margin winner before Christmas. His speed should come to the fore.

Faugheen is a bit of a talking horse for Mullins as he bids for victory in the Neptune Investment Hurdle (2m 5f), the race which saw the demise of his strongly-fancied Pont Alexander 12 months ago.

Faugheen carries the mantle this time, having won four times under rules. Just how good he is, remains to be seen but it has to be said, his jumping has proved sketchy which he won't get away with today.

Red Sherlock from David Pipe's yard can't be easily ignored and he beat another Mullins contender, Rathvinden, over the course and distance in January, although that should provide a good guide to Faugheen's chances.

He wouldn't be travelling if the Closutton trainer did not consider him a lot better than Rathvinden. For that reason, 11/4 about Faugheen is worth taking a chance on.

Belfast Telegraph

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