Horse Racing By Jon Ivan-Duke

Faugheen Out, Annie In

Racing fans were shocked to hear that Faugheen will not take part in the Cheltenham Festival and it has thrown the betting for the Champion Hurdle wide open.

Faugheen had been the 1-3 favourite with William Hill prior to the news being announced that he will miss The Festival with a suspensory issue.

“Most racing fans thought Faugheen was a banker for the Champion Hurdle, but with him out of the race it may well make for a more competitive betting market,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

It was better news for Rich Ricci as Annie Power returned to the track with a facile success at Punchestown. She is the unchanged 4-5 favourite for the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle and 3-1 for the World Hurdle.

Annie Power has also entered the Champion Hurdle market, with William Hill making her 3-1 joint-favourite with Arctic Fire.

“With Faugheen out of the Champion Hurdle, that race could be a viable option for Annie Power,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

Champion Hurdle: 3-1 Annie Power, Arctic Fire, 4-1 Nichols Canyon, 5-1 Identity Thief, 10-1 My Tent Or Yours, The New One, 12-1 Camping Ground, Peace And Co, 20-1 Top Notch, 25-1 Hargam, Old Guard, Sempre Medici, 50-1 Purple Bay, Sign Of A Victory, (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3)

World Hurdle: EVENS Thistlecrack, 3-1 Annie Power, 4-1 Vroum Vroum Mag, 7-1 Alpha Des Obeaux, Cole Harden, 9-1 Nichols Canyon, 12-1 More Of That, 14-1 Aux Ptits Soins, 16-1 Camping Ground, 20-1 Prince Of Scars, Saphir Du Rheu, 25-1 BAR (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3)

OLBG Mares’ Hurdle: 4-5 Annie Power, 6-4 Vroum Vroum Mag, 7-1 Polly Peachum, 12-1 Aurore D’Estruval, Bitofapuzzle, 16-1 Desert Queen, Gitane Du Berlais, The Govaness, 20-1 Ballychorus, 25-1 BAR (EW 1/5 Odds Places 1,2,3)