Dunguib has enjoyed the perfect preparation for tomorrow’s Spinal Research Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Trainer Philip Fenton is happy that everything has gone according to plan for the seven-year-old, who arrives at Prestbury Park unbeaten over hurdles.
He has polarised opinion in the run up to the meeting, with some people describing him as a banker and others convinced his novicey jumping could prove a stumbling block.
However, Fenton is unconcerned by such talk and believes he will emulate Montelado in winning the Champion Bumper and following up in the Supreme just 12 months later.
“Everything has gone just fine with him,” said Fenton.
“We’ve kept him away from the track on purpose because he is a bit excitable, we’ve had him stabled at Jim Wilson’s.
“He did his final half-speed on Thursday and of course it is very exciting to be heading to the first race of the meeting with the hot-favourite.
“We’ve not had the slightest little problem with him, we wouldn’t have declared him otherwise, no setbacks or anything.”
Dunguib will face 17 rivals in the Festival opener, with the most notable withdrawals at the declaration stage being Bellvano, Peddlers Cross and Rite Of Passage, but all three have other options at the meeting.
With Dunguib such a short price at the head of affairs, there are some fancy prices flying about for some highly-regarded youngsters, with Nicky Henderson’s unbeaten Oscar Whisky falling into that bracket.
“He has a lot of ability but probably lacks experience,” said Henderson.
“He is a bonny sort of horse who goes about his business really professionally.
“He won very easily at Sandown last time and I think he has a very realistic chance.
“It takes a good novice to win the totesport Trophy so you have to respect Get Me Out Of Here and I think Dunguib has scared a lot off to the two-and-a-half-mile race.
“If there is any chink in Dunguib then it is an open race and I remember a 1-14 favourite (Zaynar) who got beaten recently, so it can happen!”