The Philip Fenton-trained Dunguib may side-step a possible clash with Un De Sceaux on Saturday at Gowran Park with the 11-year-old a more likely starter in the grade two Ladbrokes Boyne Hurdle at Navan on Sunday.
“He seems to be in great form, but he is a good bit wrong at the weights with a few horses on Saturday, so I am leaning more towards running him on Sunday – I’d say it is 60/40 in favour of Navan at the minute," commented the trainer.
"That race is over two miles and five, but I don’t think that will be an issue and he handles soft ground well.
“We are looking at a couple of the handicaps for him at Cheltenham, but we’ll get the weekend out of the way first," he added.
Willie Mullins has three horses entered for Sunday’s contest and they include Grade One winners Zaidpour and Mikael D’Haguenet.
Gordon Elliott has Un Beau Matin entered. Un Beau Matin chased home his stable companion Mala Beach last month.
“He is in good form and he ran well the last day at Gowran and he loves this soft ground. The plan is for him to run on Sunday,” said Longwood-based Elliott.
The Mullins-trained Champagne Fever, current favourite for the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham, remains a possible runner in the Grade Two Flyingbolt Novice Chase while Tim Doyle has confirmed Mallowney as a definite starter.
“Mallowney seems to be in good form and the plan is that he’ll go to Navan,” stated Doyle.
”He was still full of running when he came down at the second last in the Arkle at Leopardstown. It is hard to know where he would have finished that day, but he was very much in contention. He loves this soft ground and we’ll keep him going while he has his conditions.”
Ted Walsh has indicated that Foxrock, a leading fancy for the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham, will run in the Grade Two Ten Up Novice Chase.
“All being well he’ll go to Navan and he seems to be in good form," commented the popular trainer.
Navan Racecourse Operations Manager Johanna McGarry is looking forward to a top class day of action next Sunday.
“Entries look very promising for Sunday and the three Graded races look to be full of action with some big names battling our steep hill finish," she commented.
"We are delighted that Ladbrokes are once again the title sponsor on the day and the first 200 customers through the gates will receive a free €5.00 Ladbrokes betting voucher to use in their on-course shop.”
“The ground at Navan is currently heavy; since entries only 10mls of rain has fallen and while the weather remains unsettled, we are don’t envisage any problems for Sunday’s fixture.”
First Race 1.40pm - General Admission €15 - Seniors €10 - Children under 18 FOC.