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Dunguib out of Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown

Hurricane Fly shortens to 1-2 favourite after latest set-back for Dunguib.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

DUNGUIB’S PLANNED RETURN to action at Sunday’s BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown has been scuppered.

Trainer Philip Fenton was given pause for thought when a health check showed up a ‘minor blood disorder’.

The 2009 Weatherbys Champion Bumper winner has not been seen on a racecourse since finishing sixth behind Hurricane Fly in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown in April.

He was due to make his seasonal reappearance in the Grade One feature this weekend.

“We did a routine blood test on Dunguib as part of the build-up to Sunday’s race and, unfortunately, it wasn’t what it should have been,” trainer Philip Fenton told the Racing Post.

I’ve just spoken with our vet and as the test revealed that the horse’s blood was not up to scratch, he won’t be running on Sunday.

It’s very frustrating but we’re going to have to wait a bit longer before running him.

And Fenton told the Guardian that they will now re-focus, despite this latest set-back.  ”The Red Mills Hurdle at Gowran [on 12 February] is the next assignment,” he said. “Thankfully it’s nothing serious, it’s not a major blood problem and is treatable; it will just set him back 10 days or so.”

News of the eight-year-old’s absence has seen bookmakers to shorten Hurricane Fly to 1-2 favourite, with Solwhit available at 7-2.

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