Morgiana Hurdle (Punchestown) Preview & Betting Tips – Sunday 19th November 2017

Willie Mullins is out to extend his great record at the Morgiana Hurdle this weekend. The race in Punchestown is one that Mullins’ has enjoyed over the years, and he’s likely to enjoy it even more given that Faugheen is set to make a long-awaited return in this race.

Will this be a perfect return for the nine-year-old, or will his rustiness cost Mullins more success? It’s got to be a big ask to hit the ground running after such a long time away from the racetrack, but Mullins will be hopeful that Faugheen can pick up where he left off, after success in January 2016.

Race Analysis

Heading into this one we have a clear favourite, with Faugheen cut to 4/6 with Betfair and others to return with a win. That shows a lot of confidence, and the bookmakers can’t seem to pick out a challenger. Campeador and Jezki are out at 7/2 and 9/2 respectively, which makes them second and third favourites. However, will they be able to match up to the returning favourite?

Campeador’s two wins from five doesn’t suggest that he’ll take top spot here. When you look over Faugheen’s impressive form, the gap between the pair is clear. The favourite has won 12 of his last 13 outings, including his previous race before injury struck. His only slip was a second placed finish at this race in 2015, when Nichols Canyon claimed the first of back to back victories. He is out at 10/1 with Betfair to win the race for a third straight year.

Jezki is a credible challenger, with 13 wins from 23 outings over the hurdles. That form should probably have him installed as second favourite, but we still think it’s a tough ask for him to edge out Faugheen, given the nine-year-old’s fantastic record overall.

Betting Tips

Another thing working in Faugheen’s favour is that Willie Mullins seems unbeatable in this race at the moment. He’s won it six years running, which suggests that he knows exactly how to get a horse over the line here. The fact that Faugheen has been held back after returning to fitness is also a boost, he should be back up to speed in time for this race. Mullins left him out because there was no race suited for him to run in, so we expect a great display from Faugheen here. We’re backing the nine-year-old at 4/6 with Betfair in this one.

While Mullins has a fantastic record in this race, he does have more than one name in the field. If you’re looking for an alternative bet, it might be worth checking out Faugheen’s stable-mate Yorkhill. He’s priced up at 12/1 with Betfair, and we see some value in that. Yorkhill has won 10 of his last 12 races and finished runner-up once in that time, so we think he’s the perfect choice for an each-way bet on this race.