Sunday 16 December 2018

Faugheen and Jezki in Morgiana mix

Trainer Willie Mullins
Trainer Willie Mullins

Thomas Kelly

Faugheen is in line to make his long-awaited return to action in Sunday's Unibet Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown.

Winner of the 2015 Champion Hurdle for Willie Mullins, Faugheen has not run since winning the Irish Champion Hurdle in January 2016 due to injury.

Mullins has also entered Yorkhill, Nichols Canyon and Vroum Vroum Mag.

Another former Champion Hurdle hero is in the mix in the shape of Jessica Harrington's Jezki, which made a winning return to action in early October.

Gordon Elliott can choose from Campeador and Apple's Jade, which won last weekend, while Joe Murphy's dual-purpose performer Swamp Fox completes the line-up.

Presenting Percy and Death Duty are among 11 classy entries for the Florida Pearl Novice Chase.

Impressive winner of the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham, Pat Kelly's six-year-old Presenting Percy looked a natural winning first time out over fences.

Death Duty has always been held in the highest regard by Gordon Elliott, winning eight of his 12 races under Rules. He has already won twice over fences, including a Grade Three in good style.

Elliott has also entered Jury Duty, Shattered Love, Mossback and Tombstone, while Henry de Bromhead's impressive Monalee, second in the Albert Bartlett in March, could make his chasing debut. Willie Mullins may run Arbre De Vie while Jessica Harrington has entered Woodland Opera, with Call The Taxie and Cheiliuradh engaged as well.

Meanwhile, Harrington led the tributes to Alan Potts after the leading National Hunt owner died at the age of 80.

Harrington, who trains Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Sizing John and the bulk of the Potts horses in Ireland, said: "It's a big shock. He was a certain age but he'd just been away on holiday to Mauritius and Africa. He seemed to be in great form."

Alan and Ann Potts, who died in August, enjoyed an incredible 2016-'17 campaign as the Harrington-trained Supasundae won the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, while Fox Norton, Sizing Codelco and Pingshou were all scorers at Aintree in April.

The couple first came to prominence after their distinctive yellow and green silks were worn by the Henry de Bromhead-trained Sizing Europe.

Robbie Power, who was the retained rider for Potts in Ireland and also rode Sizing John in the Gold Cup, said: "It's awful news - very sad - and so soon after his wife, too."

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