Winning trainer Philip Fenton after watching Dunguib run at NavanPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Dunguib back with
first win in three years
Report: Navan, Sunday
Ladbrokes Boyne Hurdle (Grade 2) 5yo+, 2m5f
ALMOST three years to the day since his last win, Dunguib put his injury problems firmly behind him as he swaggered to a six-length victory at Navan to tee up his first run at the Cheltenham Festival since finishing down the field in the Champion Hurdle in 2011.
Dunguib was considered one of the sport's brightest prospects after his 10-length triumph in the 2009 Champion Bumper and, despite missing out on the Supreme Novices', was a dual Grade 1 winner over hurdles the following season. However, leg injuries caused him to miss the entirety of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.
He made an encouraging reappearance at Naas last month, finishing third in a Grade 3 hurdle, before taking his first post-injury victory as he outclassed his three rivals at Navan.
The most disappointing of the three was favourite Zaidpour, who looked uninterested under Ruby Walsh and needed niggling at from half way. He was well-beaten by the straight and Walsh did well to keep his mount on for second.
Winning trainer Philip Fenton said: "He had the choke out at the end; maybe Brian [O'Connell] made it look easier. It is lovely to see him back and he seemed to get the trip well. I was happy with how he jumped.
"He could be [better than ever] even though he is not getting any younger. We wanted him to have a proper race today.
"I think he'll go to Cheltenham. We'll see what the handicapper does; it'll be either the County Hurdle or Coral Cup."