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On a day when stars were on show at the Dublin Racing Festival, one shone brightest, as the legendary 12-year-old Faugheen (13/8jf) won a pulsating Flogas Novice Chase (Grade 1) over 2m 5f.
The former Champion Hurdler was bidding to win a second Novice Chase at the highest level, on a day his trainer Willie Mullins had intimated would be Faugheen’s ‘Gold Cup’.
Battleoverdoyen (13/8jf) and Davy Russell took the lead from flag fall in an attempt to burn off the eventual winner, seven years the senior of Gordon Elliott’s runner. Paul Townend staying within a reasonable distance throughout the contest, moving menacingly closer before they turned into the home straight.
Faugheen jumped the final fence ahead of his stablemate Easy Game as early front runner Battleoverdoyen tumbled at the last. Townend took Faugheen to the far rail as Robbie Power and Easy Game (5/1) on the stand side loomed as the big danger.
Both Mullins-trained runners battled each other up the home straight, before Faugheen got up by to the delight of the packed stands who had cheered him throughout the race. In a sign of great sportsmanship, Power immediately congratulated Townend, knowing the significance of Faugheen’s win.
What. A. Horse. Faugheen:
🏇 25 races
🥇 17 wins
🏆 11 G1 victories
✅ Unbeaten over fences
⭐️ The horse of a lifetime
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) February 2, 2020