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Mullins banks on Faugheen progress

Willie Mullins expects "huge improvement" from Faugheen in the williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.

A stunning winner at Cheltenham and Punchestown in the spring as a novice, the six-year-old leapt to the head of ante-post lists for next year's Champion Hurdle with a brilliant return to action in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot last month.

He will return to Grade One level on December 26 and Ireland's champion trainer believes his charge will strip much fitter with a comeback run under his belt.

Mullins said: "There must be huge improvement in Faugheen as he was pretty fat going to Ascot.

"Last season Faugheen was fit and scrawny and I was wondering where the improvement was coming from, but he must have come back in from grass 100 weight heavier."

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