Willie Mullins pair Faugheen and Vautour head their respective markets for the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup at next year’s Cheltenham Festival.
Faugheen is 6/4 with Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and William Hill to defend his Champion crown after he led from pillar to post in the hurdling showpiece under Ruby Walsh before sprinting clear up the hill to see off Arctic Fire (20/1) and Hurricane Fly (8/1) in a Mullins 1-2-3.
That made it nine wins out of nine to underline his superstar status and bookies were quick to take evasive action, with 6/4 the price about a repeat in 12 months time.
Stablemate Douvan, winner of the opening Supreme Novices’ is Paddy Power’s second favourite at 10/1, just ahead of Nicky Henderson’s Triumph Hurdle hero Peace And Co at 12/1 with Sky Bet.
Mullins was the dominant trainer at this year’s Festival with no fewer than eight winners – a record haul – and two of those, novices Vautour and Don Poli, top the betting for the Gold Cup in 2016.
Vautour was sensational in the JLT Novices’ Chase and he’s a top-priced 6/1 with BetFred to graduate to Gold Cup glory in 12 months time, the same price as RSA Chase victor Don Poli.
Coneygree became the first novice to strike for 41 years when making most of the running in this year’s Gold Cup and he can be backed at 10/1 with Bet Victor for a repeat.