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Horse Racing

Rich Ricci trio Faugheen ‘The Machine’, Douvan and Benie Des Dieux retired by Willie Mullins

LEGENDARY Faugheen ‘The Machine’ has been retired by trainer Willie Mullins and his owner Rich Ricci.

The 13-year-old built up a huge following in Britain and Ireland thanks to his brilliant exploits on the track.

Faugheen won over a million pound in prize money

Time has also been called on the careers of Douvan and wonder mare Benie Des Dieux.

Faugheen won 11 Grade 1s in all that included two Cheltenham Festival victories, a Champion Hurdle and a Neptune.

Had injuries not cruelly got in the way it might well have been many more.

His win at the 2020 Dublin Racing Festival will be remembered for years to come as he roared back to the big time at the age of 12 in the Flogas Novice Chase.

And owner Ricci will always hold close to his heart that day at Leopardstown.

He said: “Faugheen meant a lot to Susannah, our son George and me.

“He was also the favourite horse of my nephew Peter and was the impetus of his falling in love with the sport.

“Not always the most elegant at a hurdle or a fence, he was a trier and knew he was a dude.

“My favourite memory was of his Grade 1 Novice Chase win at the 2020 Dublin Racing Festival. The noise and the sprinting of the crowd to the parade ring was something I will never forget.

“My indelible memories of Faugheen however will always be of the great horse and his groom John Codd. You never saw one without the other.

“As great a trainer as Willie is and as impressive the record of the jockeys that rode him, surely John deserves a huge amount of credit for his longevity and success.

“We have been blessed to have owned some special horses but Faugheen will always have a special place amongst them.”

John Codd rode Faugheen at home at the Mullins stable

Faugheen’s first win under rules came in May 2013 in a Punchestown bumper.

He went on to reward connections with over £1.1 million in prize money during an eight-year career, winning 17 times from 26 runs under rules.

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