Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Sol can shine yet again

Crack novice Dunguib, last year's winner Solwhit, and Punjabi, which landed the prize in 2008, will be out to compensate for Cheltenham defeats when clashing for the first time in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle tonight.

The running of the traditional Friday highlight at Punchestown has the makings of a most informative and ultra-competitive contest before the better timber-toppers head out to summer grass.

Add in last year's Grade One novice hurdle hero Hurricane Fly, progressive stablemate Thousand Stars, Medermit and classy mare Voler La Vedette and all the ingredients are there for a vintage renewal.

It remains to be seen, though, whether the drying ground, which has been available here this year only for the final week of the campaign, will impact on the likely outcome of the 11-runner event.

Constant watering overnight has ensured a safe surface after the going rode on the easy side of good on Tuesday and both Solwhit and Dunguib were confirmed as starters after their trainers walked the course.

Dunguib will have a tilt at his senior rivals after spurning the chance to go instead for the Evening Herald Novice Hurdle.

A year ago Solwhit overtook Punjabi from the final flight and can triumph again this evening.

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