Dunguib gets nod for Champion

TOP-CLASS novice Dunguib is set to take his chance in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown on Friday.

Trainer Philip Fenton has decided to take on the likes of Hurricane Fly, Solwhit and Punjabi rather than go for the Evening Herald Champion Novices’ Hurdle on Tuesday.

“We’re going to let him take his chance in Friday’s race rather than Tuesday’s novice hurdle,” said the County Tipperary handler.

“I hear they have done a marvellous job with the watering up there and we’ve more chance of getting rain between now and Friday than between now and Tuesday.”

Last season’s leading bumper horse created a big impression when winning his first four starts over jumps before finishing third to Menorah in the Spinal Research Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last month.

War Of Attrition meanwhile will have the last run of his career in Wednesday’s Guinness Gold Cup.

The Ladbrokes.com World Series Hurdle 24 hours later was also under consideration for the 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero, who has spent much of this season over hurdles and landed his first victory for two years when taking the Alo Duffin Memorial Galmoy Hurdle in January.

War Of Attrition followed that up by beating the progressive Mourad by a head in the Ladbrokes.com Boyne Hurdle at Navan in February but then disappointed in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Connections feel that if they were lucky enough to send the 11-year-old off into retirement with a win they would prefer it was in the blaze of glory a Gold Cup triumph would provide.

“All being well he’ll have his last run in the Gold Cup,” trainer Mouse Morris told racingpost.com on Sunday afternoon.

“We thought about the stayers’ hurdle, but it would be nice to see him go well in another Gold Cup as that’s his stage.”

Morris added that the better ground was another factor in the decision to go for the Grade 1 chase – which War Of Attrition won in 2006 – set to feature superstar chaser Denman and the young pretender Joncol.

War Of Attrition, a general 14-1 shot to beat 5-4 favourite Denman in the Guinness Gold Cup, had been as short as 12-1 with Paddy Power for Thursday’s Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle.

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