Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Racing

Walsh cool on Faugheen odds

Ruby Walsh feels the bookmakers may have overreacted in cutting Faugheen's Champion Hurdle odds following Saturday's Ascot win.

Walsh was nearly motionless in the saddle as Willie Mullins' unbeaten star got his season off to a perfect start in the Coral Hurdle, but the jockey feels it was only what several other top quality hurdlers would have done.

Stiffer tasks await Faugheen as the season progresses and although Walsh is of the belief his mount could be well up to mixing it with the best later in the campaign, he still has a bit to prove as yet.

" He has plenty of speed for an ex-point-to-point and bumper horse but he's not coming off the Flat, he's not a Listed, 100-rated Flat horse, he's got a National Hunt background all the way so for a horse of that type he has plenty of speed," Walsh told Racing UK.

"He jumps better when he's going quicker, we can get him more accurate but he's going in the right direction.

"Do I think he should be 2-1 favourite for the Champion Hurdle? No. I don't think he did anything at Ascot that The New One, Hurricane Fly or Jezki couldn't have done. He did exactly what all those would have done in that race.

"From a punters point of view, he's pretty skimpy odds but potentially he's a very good horse.

"That was two-miles-three but he dropped back to two miles at Punchestown last season no problem and was very impressive.

"He has to improve a bit but I hope he'll make up into a Champion Hurdle horse. The next day, wherever he goes will be another step, you have to keep improving through the season and there is a tendency for second-season novices to do that, like Jezki last season.

"There's no reason to think Faugheen will not do that when more tests are put in front of him."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph