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PHILIP FENTON

Weblog: Living the Dunguib dream, for now at least

Change of plan - we're going to Punchestown

THE weather in Ireland dictates just about everything and once again it has put paid to some best-laid plans.

A school and gallop at the Curragh was meant to be Dunguib's main preparation for the Royal Bond, but the weather was just too bad and we have decided to run him at Punchestown on Saturday.

Luckily our main danger, Some Present, will run at Cheltenham the day before, so I hear, so hopefully Dunguib can make it two from two.

He worked this morning with Woodbine Willie, they just did a half-speed, and showed enough to convince me another run would be a good idea.

You'll be pleased to hear that Woodbine Willie seems back to his old self. He wasn't quite right all last season and only ran twice as a result, but he's okay now and as long as he gets in he'll make his chasing debut at Wexford on November 28.

That's a day before the Royal Bond, by the way, which has a whole heap of entries, most of them from Willie Mullins.

There's the obvious ones, like Sweeps Hill and Some Present, but Willie has 12 entries, some of which haven't run over hurdles yet so we don't really know what were up against at the moment and we'll have to keep an eye out for Willie's possible challengers, a couple of which are entered this weekend.

Last weekend Caim Hill was a pretty fortunate second to Oscar Looby, he was a distant third until Catch Me fell at the last.
We'll continue our quest to get a win over fences from him at Gowran Park on Saturday week, maybe.

Monday became a winning day when Strange Encounter scored at Limerick. The handicapper has been very harsh on him and put him up 8lbs but we're going to give it another shot at Clonmel on Thursday, provided the meeting goes ahead - I reckon it will.

I don't know how familiar you are with Clonmel but it is on the side of a hill and I don't think in all my years that I have ever seen the rain call it off. There hasn't been a drop of rain by us all morning either, though I think we may have bitten off more than we can chew there anyway.

He's in a handicap hurdle at Cork on Sunday as well but, at the moment, he's well out of the handicap with Clopf rated 145 at the top of the weights. 

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