One Last Hurrah from Faugheen in Aintree Hurdle?
We have no winners from the most recent Cheltenham Festival on show in the Aintree Hurdle this year, but plenty of horses who have won at past festivals, and some who ran well in 2019, despite not winning. There are a couple of big stories potentially coming from this race, and the biggest of them all would be a win for Faugheen. Can the 11 year old have one last big win in the UK, before possible retiring after running at Punchestown at the end of this month?
There is no doubt that Faugheen ran a very good race at Cheltenham to finish third in the Stayers Hurdle, a trip which he probably just doesn’t quite get in conjunction with the uphill finish at that track. He certainly needs further than two miles nowadays, and it could be that this trip of 2m4f gives him the best chance of picking up one final win at Grade One level.
The race revolves around Buveur D’Air, who fell in the Champion Hurdle at Aintree and while he has shown his quality this season, he has also shown he has a couple of flaws. One of those is certainly his jumping, which cost him the win against Verdana Blue and saw him fall at Cheltenham.
There should be plenty of pace on in this race, and I expect to see Faugheen string them along from the front. Can Buveur D’Air’s jumping hold up here, and allow him to move into a position to challenge, or will he once again have problems that could cost him the race? I like and respect Buveur D’Air, but he does have question marks over him and because of that, he looks awfully short in the betting to me at odds on.
Melon is an interesting runner in the race, stepping up from two miles after finishing second in the Champion Hurdle. Over two miles he looks a strong finisher, and always relishes the uphill finish at Cheltenham. A flat 2m4f could be what he needs now, and that makes him of interest of course.
While he may not be the most obvious winner of the race, Faugheen is the horse here who is rock solid, and looks sure to run his race. If you are the kind of punter who is happy to back a horse each way at around 6/1 as a bet to nothing, then that is exactly what Faugheen looks like tomorrow.