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Dunguib to get handicap option

Philip Fenton has revealed he might give Dunguib an entry in the Coral Cup as an alternative to the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The County Tipperary handler hopes to glean more when his stable star makes a belated reappearance in the Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park on February 12.

"All along we've had great belief in this horse and if his work isn't as good as it could be or should be we could always rethink and maybe have an entry in the Coral Cup," he said.

Fenton wants to get a prep run into the 2009 Weatherbys Champion Bumper hero as he is running out of time before Cheltenham, poor blood results having forced Dunguib to miss the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday.

"The last tests we have had done have come back normal. We did have him on the easy list, he wasn't doing any strong work but he was cantering every day," he told At The Races.

"We are beginning to panic a bit but the idea is to go to Gowran in two weeks for the Red Mills over two and a half. That will be the furthest he's ever raced. It was two miles two before that. He has recovered and he's working well.

"The form of the Supreme Novices' has worked out well, that's for sure, but whether it is Champion Hurdle form is another question to be answered on the day.

"He'll have to run well in the Red Mills before we decide what his next race will be."


From Belfast Telegraph