Dunguib and Sceaux set to clash

Dunguib is on course to have his second comeback run this weekend at either Gowran Park or Navan, meaning he could clash with Champion Hurdle dark horse Un De Sceaux.

Trainer Philip Fenton is leaning towards the Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran on Saturday, a race Dunguib won in 2011. His other option is the Ladbrokes Boyne Hurdle at Navan on Sunday.

“He’s going to run on Saturday or possibly on Sunday at Navan. Saturday looks the more obvious one,” said Fenton. “Everything’s absolutely fine, he’s working well and we’re happy with him.”

Dunguib, winner of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in 2009, only returned to action at Naas last month when he was third to Rule The World after being sidelined since finishing eighth to Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle in March 2011.

The 11-year-old is among 11 possibles for the Red Mills, with Willie Mullins responsible for five of the contenders.

Exciting French import Un De Sceaux tops his quintet. The six-year-old has created a big impression in winning his two starts so far this term by an aggregate of 82 lengths.

Diakili, Midnight Game, Upsie and Zaidpour also feature in the Mullins team for the Grade Two contest over two miles. Making up the 11 are Alderwood, Chicago, Dalasiri, Flaxen Flare and The Four Elms.

Mullins has four of the 13 entries for the Red Mills Chase – Prince De Beauchene, Rupert Lamb, Turban and Twinlight.

Gordon Elliott has Toner D’Oudairies and Roi Du Mee, who was last of seven in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The Robbie Hennessy-trained Rubi Light, winner of this race in 2011 and 2012, could go for Grade Two glory again.

Argocat, Aupcharlie, Bog Warior, Days Hotel, Make A Track, Rathlin and Rupert Lamb complete the list.

The going is expected to remain heavy at the County Kilkenny track but no problems staging the meeting are envisaged.

“At the moment it’s heavy ground. The weather forecast for the next few days is quite mild. It’s not looking too bad,” said general manager Eddie Scally.

“The track is not looking too bad but it will definitely race heavy on Saturday. Everything should be fine. There’s no rain forecast that we shouldn’t be able to cope with.

“The card looks good and there are a couple of belters. It makes for a very exciting day.”

Fenton meanwhile is convinced The Tullow Tank was not at his best when he was beaten for the first time this season at Leopardstown on Sunday.

He reports the six-year-old in good form yesterday and is looking to get him in peak condition for Cheltenham next month.

At this stage, the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle is the more likely objective, but The Tullow Tank is also in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

He was odds-on to complete a hat-trick of Grade One victories in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle but could not get to grips with all-the-way winner Vautour and suffered a three-length reverse.

“He’s absolutely fine after his run. I have a feeling that maybe I didn’t have him at his best,” said Fenton.

“I have a gut feeling he just wasn’t in tip-top form. Let’s hope we can get him back on track. It’s Cheltenham next for him. That’s where we’d like to end up. The Neptune would probably look the more obvious one, but we have made no decision yet.”

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