Faugheen and Douvan unlikely to make the Cheltenham Festival
- We bring you the news that Faugheen and Douvan are both likely to miss the 2021 Cheltenham Festival
- Former Champion Hurdle winner, Faugheen has suffered a set-back
- Douvan remains in pre-training having not run competitively in well over a year
- Patrick Mullins also revealed that Shewearsitwell is likely to miss the Mares' Novices' Hurdle
Faugheen wings the last during his Champion Hurdle win in 2015. (Getty)
If you were to ask Willie Mullins, "who is the best horse you've ever trained?", both Faugheen and Douvan would be near the top of his list.
Faugheen enjoying an illustrious career over hurdles, winning the Ballymore and the Champion Hurdle, while also placing in the Stayers' Hurdle four years later. "The Machine" then returned to the Festival as a 12-year-old novice chaser in 2020, finishing a close third behind Samcro and Melon in the Marsh Novices' Chase.
Like Faugheen, Douvan also managed to win twice at the Cheltenham Festival, scoring in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and the Arkle the following season. Sadly, we've only seen this mercurial talent out on the track three times since the 2017 Champion Chase, and Douvan hasn't run since winning at Clonmel in November 2019.
During a recent interview with Racing TV, Patrick Mullins was asked what the future holds for both Faugheen and Douvan. While he reiterated both aging stars remain in training, we're unlikely to see either at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.
"They've both had setbacks." Patrick Mullins revealed to Racing TV on Friday.
"Faugheen is in the yard, he got clipped during the week. Cheltenham, with his profile, is it going to be tough?"
"If it comes about, great, but I suppose Willie thought at the moment it's unlikely."
"Douvan is in pre-training - he's coming back from another setback, so at this stage it would be unlikely."
"I've been very lucky to sit on some very good horses, and I just think he (Douvan) is a different species. His race record does not really reflect how good a horse he was."
Mullins also revealed that unbeaten novice hurdler, Shewearsitwell has also met with a setback, and won't be fit in time to take part in the 2021 Mares' Novices' Hurdle.
"Shewearsitwell is probably not going to make Cheltenham, which is a pity, as she has as much ability as the others," he said.
"She had a bit of a setback. She missed the Royal Bond, and it's going to be tight for Cheltenham, so it's not definite she'll make it - we'll have to see."
Even without Shewearsitwell, Willie Mullins has a strong hand to play in a race he boasts a 100% record in. Gauloise currently heads the Mares' Novices' Hurdle betting, while both Hook Up and Finest Evermore are not without chances.
Gauloise2021 Mares' Novices' Hurdle FavouriteGET 9/2 HERE
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