Mullins happy to keep Faugheen options open
Faugheen is getting ready for a possible return says Patrick Mullins, who hailed the stable's six-timer on Sunday as all the more special given Gordon Elliott's superb campaign.
Faugheen has not run since January but has Leopardstown and Kempton options upcoming, Nichols Canyon and Vroum Vroum Mag having represented Willie Mullins in Grade One senior hurdling this term.
"Faugheen is riding out away; when dad feels he's happy to run he'll run. We'll look at Christmas and see how he is then," said the champion trainer's assistant.
"We still have Yorkhill and Annie Power to come out also. We're a little behind after a dry autumn but dad's strike-rate shows that unless he feels a horse is ready to do itself justice, he does not run them."
One horse set to run at Christmas is The Crafty Butcher in the Paddy Power, Mullins a part-owner alongside rugby stars Ian Madigan and Dominic Ryan.
"He's had a perfect preparation. A French girl at home rides him every morning treating him like a pet, and that seems to be helping. The lads are getting a great kick out of it - hopefully we can give him a Christmas to remember."
Djakadam's John Durkan win was the highlight of a sensational six-timer on Sunday.
"It was a day when everything went right. Dad's been very patient in recent months; they are hitting top gear now and this reflects well on his approach.
"We really appreciated this one. After Apple's Jade beat Vroum Vroum Mag at Fairyhouse when the race didn't pan out for our mare, it was good Djakadam won. Gordon is going so well, it's a bit harder this season so you appreciate it a bit more."
Frankie Dettori has joined in the tributes to Walter Swinburn, who died on Monday.
"I was blessed he was in my corner so I watched him like a hawk every day, trying to pick up his best attributes," said the Italian.