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Cheltenham

  • 17:15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper2m 110y

  • £60,000 added 4-6yo 24 ran
  • Winner: £
  • Going: Good to Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 56.80s
  • Off time: 17:16:17

Dunguib Dazzles In Bumper Romp

By Tom Peacock, PA Sport.   Last Updated: 11/03/09 6:34pm

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Celebration time after Dunguib's Bumper win.

Celebration time after Dunguib's Bumper win.

Dunguib turned the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival into a procession with a brilliant victory in the hands of Brian O'Connell.

Philip Fenton's six-year-old was sent off a well-backed 9-2 chance and was pulling his rider's arms out for much of the extended two-mile contest.

O'Connell only had to let out an inch of rein turning for home and his mount quickly scooted clear, passing the post 10 lengths clear of Some Present.

Rite Of Passage was sent off the 5-2 favourite after plenty of money during the course of the day, but he had to settle for a creditable third.

Willie Mullins had no less than eight runners in his search for a seventh Champion Bumper win - but none of them could get near the runaway winner.

Dunguib's victory put the seal on another terrific afternoon for the Irish, who have now racked up eight winners at the Festival.

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 added: "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."

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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