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Saludos ready to do battle with Dunguib

Jessica Harrington is ready to let Saludos line up against the mighty Dunguib in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The six-year-old was victorious on his first two starts of the season over hurdles and has since acquitted himself well to fill the runner-up spot in two Graded races.

He is turned out quickly, having chased home Luska Lad on Sunday, but Harrington is ready to let him go again for what could be his last outing of the campaign.

"We know he is much better going left-handed and originally we just wanted to avoid Dunguib," said Harrington. "He's a horse who probably won't be going to Cheltenham this year, hopefully next year as a chaser.

Last season's Champion Bumper winner Dunguib will be long odds-on to take his record over hurdles to four wins from four starts, and pleased his connections in a workout on Wednesday morning.

Trainer Philip Fenton said: "Everything went well and he is in good order."

Possol will bid to strike gold in the Racing Post Chase before a likely assault at the John Smith's Grand National. Henry Daly's gelding has been kept over hurdles this season, winning easily at Ascot and Doncaster and protecting his handicap mark over fences.

Daly is now likely to gear him towards the Racing Post Chase at Kempton on February 27, a race in which he finished second to Nacarat last year. The weights for Aintree will have already been revealed at a ceremony in London on February 16.

Master Minded has been back schooling over fences as he prepares to return to the racecourse in the totepool Game Spirit Chase at Newbury on Saturday week. The winner of the past two Queen Mother Champion Chases suffered an unexpected reverse to Well Chief at Cheltenham in November.

He hung noticeably right through the race and trainer Paul Nicholls subsequently identified a fractured rib in the seven-year-old. He started cantering again in January and owner Clive Smith has been watching his progress.

"I went down last Thursday and all the horses looked very well," said Smith. "Since then, Master Minded has been schooled over fences and seems to be going OK".

Cheltenham Festival winner An Accordion has been retired following a disappointing display over hurdles at Taunton on Tuesday. David Pipe's nine-year-old won over £100,000 in prize-money during his career, with his best moment coming in the 2008 William Hill Trophy.