Routine test rules Dunguib off the road to Cheltenham

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The groans emanating out of Ireland following Dunguib’s defeat in last year’s Supreme Novices Hurdle could be heard across the Irish Sea.

Dunguib was sent over from the Emerald Isle unbeaten over hurdles and carrying the hopes of many a Cheltenham punter who had penned in the Philip Fenton-trained star as their festival banker.

But Dunguib failed to deliver and he hasn’t been seen since his defeat at Punchestown last April.

New customers still reeling from Dunguib’s disappointment can recoup some of their losses by signing up here for a free £25 bet.

That could have been about to change with a reappearance in the Irish Champion Hurdle, in which Dunguib was a 5/1 shot, lined up.

But Fenton has ruled out Dunguib following a routine blood test.

Dunguib would have lined up alongside those who beat him at Punchestown for the race at Leopardstown on January 23rd, and Hurricane Fly currently heads the Irish Champion Hurdle betting at 4/6.

Solwhit is a 7/4 chance and Voler La Vedette (10/1), Sublimity (20/1) and Thousand Stars (20/1) complete the ante post Irish Champion Hurdle betting market.

All eyes will be on Hurricane Fly who is a 5/1 chance in the 2011 Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle betting, as he looks to justify his short-priced favouritism, but the loss of Dunguib is a blow to those who wanted to asses his Cheltenham Festival chances.

Dunguib has Cheltenham Festival odds of 14/1 for the Champion Hurdle in March and will have to squeeze a run in between now and the festival if he wishes to join Hurricane Fly, Binocular (5/2), Menorah (5/1) and Peddlers Cross (11/2) at the top of the Champion Hurdle betting market.

With just two months until the Cheltenham Festival gets underway, time is running out for trainers to turn their stable string into stars and the Leopardstown ‘Road to Cheltenham’ meeting could be the last chance for potential festival winners to have their final run-out.

A £25 stake on Dunguib winning the 2011 Champion Hurdle would return £375. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.