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Doubts over Dunguib

Trainer Philip Fenton has revealed he might give Dunguib an entry in the Coral Cup as an alternative to the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The County Tipperary handler hopes to glean more when his stable star makes a belated reappearance in the Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park on February 12.

That race over two-and-a-half miles will be the longest distance the multiple Grade One winner has tried.

Fenton wants to get a prep into the 2009 Weatherbys Champion Bumper hero as he is running out of time before Cheltenham after poor blood results forced Dunguib to miss the BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday.

"The last tests we have had done have come back normal. We did have him on the easy list, he wasn't doing any strong work but he was cantering every day," he said.

"We are beginning to panic a bit, but the idea is to go to Gowran in two weeks for the Red Mills over two-and-a-half.

"That will be the furthest he's ever raced. It was two-miles-two before that.

"He has recovered and he's working well, so we'll go for the Red Mills Hurdle.

"The form of the Supreme Novices' has worked out well that's for sure, but whether it is Champion Hurdle form is another question to be answered on the day.

"All along we've had great belief in this horse and if his work isn't as good as it could be or should be we could always rethink and maybe have an entry in the Coral Cup.

"He'll have to run well in the Red Mills before we decide what his next race will be."