Dunguib: completed a hat-trick of bumper wins with an imperious displayPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Dunguib destroys Champion Bumper field
Report: Cheltenham Festival, Wednesday
Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m½
DUNGUIB turned the Weatherbys Champion Bumper into a processionwith a superb display of speed and stamina, giving Ireland their fourth winner of the day when returning the well backed 9-2 winner.
Philip Fenton: looking forwardPICTURE: Caroline Norris
The Philip Fenton-trained runner was the eighth Irish-trained winner of the festival so far.
After Morning Supreme had led for the majority of the race, the field closed up with half a mile to run, and 5-2 favourite Rite Of Passage was the first to play his cards, sweeping to the front.
His move was covered by Dunguib and Brian O'Connell, and the pair quickly hit the front, travelling sweetly. When O'Connell kicked clear at the top of the straight, the race was quickly over as the son of Presenting took several lengths out of the field, going on to win by ten lengths.
Fenton said: "He jumped absolutely brilliantly and had plenty of cover. Hopefully we might bring him back here again next year for the two-mile race (Supreme). He's something to look forward to.
"Brian rode him with plenty of confidence. I'm sure we'll be doing plenty of celebrating."
O'Connell said: "He was always good at home and his last two runs have been very good. I came here thinking he had every chance and to be honest I would have been disappointed if he had been beaten.
"He travelled great and settled well and I was just a passenger more than anything. He's unbelievable.
"That was a very good bumper on paper and it rode a good bumper, but my lad never seemed to come out of third gear. He's definitely the best I've sat on."
Stan James priced Dunguib up at 8-1 to come back and land the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at next year's festival.
It was a fitting finish to an excellent day for the Irish trainers as they filled the place positions, 25-1 chance Some Present winning the battle for second place with Rite Of Passage.
Despite saddling a third of the field, Willie Mullins had to settle for fourth place with Quel Esprit, a 10-1chance.
Dermot Weld: "mine ran so well"PICTURE: Caroline Norris
Tom Mullins was thrilled with the display of runner-up Some Present.
The Irish handler said of the 25-1 shot: "We worked him after racing at Leopardstown and I thought he came back as well as any horse that day.
"Davy (Russell) said he thought we should go for the Champion Bumper and we finished second so it's worked out.
"He will have learned a bit, but he'll have to learn a hell of a lot to get to the winner.
"We could go to Punchestown but I wouldn't be keen if Philip's horse is going there.
"He'll make a real chaser and I'll look forward to sending him novice hurdling."
Dermot Weld said of Rite Of Passage: "The winner is some horse but mine has ran so well.
"He didn't give up and I'm very pleased with him. I'd advise people to watch him on the Flat this summer."
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