Ruby Walsh: 'Fingers crossed' Faugheen will make Cheltenham Festival

Ruby Walsh admits Faugheen cannot afford any further setbacks if he is to contest the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Willie Mullins' charge claimed the Grade One feature in 2015 but an injury sustained after winning the 2016 Irish Champion Hurdle ruled him out of defending his Cheltenham crown.

The nine-year-old has suffered a couple of minor problems this term, meaning his intended comeback was delayed until the Irish Champion Hurdle last month.

However, another issue saw him pulled out of the race 24 hours before the event and while Walsh retains full faith in Faugheen, he is well aware the gelding now needs a smooth run if he is to line up in the Champion Hurdle on March 14.

"I saw him Saturday morning and he looked fine to me. He looked 100%," Walsh told Racing UK.

"Fingers crossed everything goes right for him until March. He hasn't had a run under his belt so he can't afford to miss anything, but that's the bit of luck he needs and deserves.

"He was due to run in the Irish Champion but just picked up a muscle problem behind. Fingers crossed we can get him to Cheltenham.

"He did a serious piece the Tuesday before Leopardstown and David Casey was delighted with him.

"At some stage you have to turn the screw, but the ability is still there."

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