Trainer Philip Fenton has said that Dunguib will most likely make his seasonal debut in next months Red Mills Trial at Gowran Park having been forced to miss this weekend’s Irish Champion Hurdle due to a unsatisfactory blood test.
The County Limerick trainer Fenton said:
“Dunguib looks great and is working well but the results from the blood tests we took this morning were not satisfactory and we have run out of time for the weekend. Hopefully after four or five days on antibiotics he will be fine again and the Red Mills Hurdle at Gowran Park looks to be our only option before Cheltenham.”
Paddy Power have announced that they will refund all bets on Dunguib for Sunday’s Irish Champion Hurdle, where it now looks like Solwhit will again be Hurricane Fly’s biggest challenger. However, the latters trainer Charles Byrnes is dismissive of his chances:
“He has come out of the Paddy Power Festival Hurdle very well when the race turned into a sprint. He would have preferred more of a gallop although he would still not have beaten Hurricane Fly, but they would then probably have been a long way ahead of the third. The chances of beating Hurricane Fly on Sunday are very, very slim as Hurricane appears to be settling better in his races now and he is much better at the end of his races than he previously was. But there is good prize money — €22,000 for second place — but that won’t be easy as there are a few other good ones in it.”
Byrnes has the Aintree Hurdle rather than Cheltenham as a long-term target for Solwhit, although he did has given the horse an entry for the Festival in March:
“Later on I felt, to be fair to the horse, he was entitled to have an entry in the English Champion Hurdle but we would be looking more at Aintree. I have absolutely no regrets that he’s around at the same time as Hurricane Fly. He’s won six Grade Ones and we’re delighted to be there and if Hurricane wasn’t around, something else would be”.