Faugheen could step up in trip

Faugheen could potentially be stepped up in trip in order to avoid clashing with reigning Champion Hurdle heroine and stablemate Annie Power.

Connections of the 2014 Champion Hurdle winner are considering the idea of campaigning the Willie Mullins-trained gelding over three miles come the autumn.

The eight-year-old was unable to defend his crown at this year’s Cheltenham Festival after suffering a suspensory ligament injury in the build-up to the race.

Owner Rich Ricci said: “If (his injury) had happened around Christmas time, we probably could have made Cheltenham, but unfortunately it happened in the Irish Champion Hurdle.

“He is in great form and will be back this season. We will just have to figure out where he and Annie Power run.

“I’m of two minds. No mare has ever won the Champion Hurdle twice, and Faugheen deserves his chance to defend his crown as well.

“They could both obviously stay a trip and do three miles as well, depending if Thistlecrack goes chasing or not. Who knows, they have both got to get there first, but they are in good order.

“He (Faugheen) won over three miles at Limerick as a novice. It is interesting. It is such a long way from here to there and I will probably get murdered for saying something that changes my mind later on, but you have to consider it.”

  • William Buick has been handed a four-week ban by the Chantilly stewards after an incident in the Prix de Diane.

Buick, on Highlands Queen, was adjudged to have caused the fall of Pierre-Charles Boudet’s mount Armande.

He was subsequently disqualified from his ninth-placed finish and put last.

During the inquiry the stewards banned Buick the automatic 15 days for causing the fall, however, Godolphin’s jockey was handed an extra 15 days for being offensive to the officials.

Buick has stated his intention to appeal the original 15-day suspension.

The ban is due to begin on July 3. If he is unsuccessful in his appeal he will miss meetings such as the Irish Oaks and King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

  • John Gosden remains hopeful the sidelined Jack Hobbs will return to action before the end of the season.

Runner-up to stable companion Golden Horn in the Investec Derby at Epsom last June, the Halling colt went one better in the Irish equivalent before going on to finish third in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

He looked set for a big campaign in 2016, but suffered a stress fracture to his pelvis when pulling up on his seasonal reappearance in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket in late April.

Providing an update at Royal Ascot, Gosden said: “Jack Hobbs is doing fine and he’s in light walking exercise at the minute and he’s fully sound.The plan is to come back in September.”

Multiple champion jockey Kieren Fallon is set for a short period on the sidelines after picking up a chest infection.

Fallon rode the unplaced It’s Your Turn in the opening five-furlong maiden at Down Royal on Saturday, but gave up the remainder of his rides after feeling unwell.

Fallon’s agent, Ruaidhri Tierney, said: “Kieren rode in the first at Down Royal yesterday, but felt terrible afterwards. He went to see the Turf Club doctor on Saturday night and he has a very bad chest infection.


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