Faugheen to miss Champion Hurdle through injury
Last Updated: 17/02/16 4:25pm
Reigning champion Faugheen will miss the defence of his Champion Hurdle crown because of injury.
The brilliant eight-year-old is suffering with a suspensory ligament problem which is enough to keep him on the sidelines for the big meeting in March.
Trainer Willie Mullins told the Racing Post on Wednesday: "Unfortunately, we've had a hold-up with Faugheen and he won't be going to Cheltenham.
"When we started back working him this week we discovered he had a sore suspensory and, while it isn't a serious problem, it's come at a bad time and it means we've had to abandon plans to run him in the Champion Hurdle."
Faugheen was 1/3 favourite with Sky Bet to claim back-to-back victories in the Champion Hurdle, having this season claimed stunning victories in both the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton and in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Following Annie Power's victory at Punchestown on Wednesday, the Irish champion trainer added on At The Races: "We think that the prognosis with Faugheen is very good and he should be back. But it's a huge blow.
"We could certainly get her (Annie Power) supplemented for the Champion Hurdle.
"I haven't spoken to the owner yet but I think it must be on the cards.
"She was very keen today, the hood probably helped her with that but I suppose it was just a schooling exercise.
"It was plenty for her at this stage and there will be plenty of harder bits of work to do with her."