Faugheen spearheads Mullins' quest to eclipse record Punchestown haul
With over 100,000 racegoers expected in Punchestown over the next five days, runaway Cheltenham victor Faugheen will be today's star attraction in the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle as an action-packed Festival kicks off with over €550,000 in prize money up for grabs.
The hot favourite will be Willie Mullins' first runner at the season finale, with the all-conquering champion trainer out to emulate last year's incredible record haul of 13 winners.
Faugheen will be partnered by Ruby Walsh, who on Saturday returned to the saddle for a first time since dislocating his shoulder. British champion jockey AP McCoy is also on duty, as are Irish counterparts Davy Russell and Barry Geraghty.
Today's feature event is the €200,000 Boylesports.com Champion Chase, and officials are confident that decent weather will enable them to emulate last year's aggregate attendance of 102,000.