Dun deal for Fenton star

Dunguib emulated Cousin Vinny 12 months earlier and followed up his Cheltenham bumper success with an impressive victory in the Paddy Power Champion INH Flat Race at Punchestown today.

The pair are the only horses to complete the double, and Philip Fenton's highly talented six-year-old is the new 3-1 favourite with Boylesports for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle next March.

After finishing second at this meeting 12 months ago, Dunguib has rattled off four wins on the bounce and took the field apart when storming up the Cheltenham hill.

And he repeated the feat as the 9-10 favourite in the Grade One bumper in County Kildare, with Brian O'Connell allowing his mount to accelerate away inside the final furlong, leaving Sweeps Hill bringing home the remainder in a distant second place.

Fenton said: "I was looking for excuses coming here but it turns out that he was in the same form as before Cheltenham.

"He had two weeks off after Cheltenham and soon put the weight back on that he lost there, and there were seven weeks between the two races.

"He is a superstar of a horse and is well able to jump. We have already schooled him and he will do plenty more before he makes an appearance.

"If all goes well and fits into place then I would love to take him back to Cheltenham for the two-mile novice - the Supreme Novices' Hurdle."

Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins joined forces with his nephew Emmet to claim the Madra Dog Food 21st Anniversary Novice Hurdle courtesy of 7-4 favourite The Midnight Club.

The eight-year-old had finished in the frame in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham last month, and bettered that by flying late between Sam Adams and Healys Bar on the run-in to strike by three-quarters of a length.

Mullins landed the Grand National four years ago with Hedgehunter, and believes he has another legitimate long-term contender on his hands.

He said: "Emmet rode him with a lot of confidence. He missed the third-last flight and they got away from him but he is really tough and was doing his best work late on.

"I am really looking forward to sending him chasing. He loves a trip and soft ground, and he could become a National horse one day.

"With the weather the way it is we could send him over fences next week when the new season begins and then put him away for the summer."

Jessica Harrington saddled three in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle and it was her No One Tells Me who emerged on top under Robbie Power.

The filly headed into the two-mile event with a solid run at the Fairyhouse Grand National meeting under her belt, and the 6-1 chance showed she is all heart to hold the late thrust of 11-4 favourite Moville.

Harrington, fresh from sending out her second winner of the meeting, said: "She is a tough little filly and she knew what she was doing today.

"I did fancy her most of my three, mainly because I knew she would go on the ground. Manor Park was getting weight off her but doesn't handle this sort of surface."

Bookies enjoyed a skinner of a result as day two of the meeting got under way with Montana Slim producing a 25-1 shock in the Martinstown Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle.

Valley Of Giants was doing his best to slay the field, but Michael O'Hare's seven-year-old swept by rounding the home bend and went on to deny the former by 11 lengths.

Winning jockey Keith Clarke said: "I was taking a pull a long way out as he jumped and travelled so well.

"I ended up getting there too soon as he was going too well, but I didn't have any choice."

The stewards inquired into the running and riding of Crossdresser, who was third in the race won by No One Tells Me. The officials eventually ruled the four-year-old had not run on its merits, and fined trainer Gavin Cromwell €2,000, suspended the horse from running for 60 days and Shane McCann from riding for 21 days.

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