Faugheen winning the Punchestown Champion Hurdle
Image supplied by Goffs Ltd

2015 Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen, is to make his chasing debut on Saturday.

The Willie Mullins-trained eleven year-old will contest the Naas Oil Beginners Chase at Punchestown.

He is a nine-times Grade One winner and after a tendon injury caused him a lengthy spell on the sidelines, his form has been less consistent.

However, stepping up in trip, he ran a commendable race when third in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, but was then pulled up in the Aintree Hurdle in April, with connections suggesting he might have had an irregular heartbeat.

But Faugheen has summered well and Mullins is keen to try his charge over fences, as he was a point-to-point winner in his younth.

The trainer said: “I’ve been happy with his schooling, he’s always jumped well and we’re happy with him. Two and a half to three miles is fine. He doesn’t have to win, I just want to get him out.”

Faugheen is one of 17 runners in the two-mile-three-furlong event, with Antey also representing Mullins and owner Rich Ricci.