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Faugheen wins at Punchestown as Klassical Dream upset by Saldier

The 2015 Champion Hurdle Winner got off to a winning start over fences.

FAUGHEEN GOT OFF to a winning start over fences today at Punchestown despite a couple of jumping errors to land the spoils for trainer Willie Mullins.

The 2015 Champion Hurdle winner went off the 8-11 favourite and ultimately triumphed in the Naas Oil Beginners Chase.

paul-townend-on-faugheen-wins-the-race Paul Townend was on board as Faugheen triumphed.

There were some anxious moments with mistakes at the eighth fence and the third last before Paul Townend steered Faugheen to victory ahead of Walk Away in second and Lord Schnitzel in third.

Mullins also enjoyed success in the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle but the identity of his 10th winner in this race did provoke surprise. Klassical Dream, so impressive last season in claiming wins at the Cheltenham and Punchestown festivals, was the firm favourite but instead it was Saldier (7/1) who was first home.

Klassical Dream dropped to third in the run-in behind second-placed Petit Mouchoir as jockey Danny Mullins guided Saldier to victory.

danny-mullins-and-willie-mullins-with-saldier-after-winning-the-race Danny Mullins and Willie Mullins with Saldier after victory. Source: Peter Mooney/INPHO

Trainer Mullins also saw favourites Blue Sari (30/100) and The Big Getaway (2/9) take the Kildare Now Maiden Hurdle and Goffs INH Flat Race respectively.

In the other big race of the day, Rachael Blackmore and Henry De Bromhead were the winning combination in the Grade 2 Elliott Group Craddockstown Novice Chase as Notebook (11/4) saw off the challenge of De Bromhead’s other runner Moon Over Germany.

Elsewhere at Cheltenham it was a good day for Irish jockey Robbie Power as he took the Grade 3 Handicap Chase with West Approach for trainer Colin Tizzard. The feature race there went to 14/1 shot Happy Diva for jockey Richard Patrick and trainer Kerry Lee.

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Favourite Thyme Hill was steered home in the opener by Richard Johnson, Harry Skelton’s mount Allmankind also triumphed and favourite Wholestone won the Novices’ Chase for Daryl Jacob.

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