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|Ryanair hope Rubi to warm up at Gowran Park|
Robert Hennessy’s smart chaser Rubi Light looks set to warm-up for another crack at the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March by following the same route as last term in heading to Gowran Park to bid for the Grade 2 Red Mills Chase before attempting to improve on his third place in the feature Cheltenham contest a month later, writes Elliot Slater.
Last seen running a brave race on his first attempt at three miles in coming home an eight-lengths second to Jonjo O’Neill’s impressive Sychronised in the Grade 1 Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on December 28, Rubi Light appears best at around two-and-a-half-miles in testing ground as he proved last term in improving through the handicapping ranks in the first half of the season (when encountering heavy going on a regular basis), before stepping up to win the Red Mills Chase prior to finishing a brave three-length third on faster ground at Cheltenham behind Albertas Run in the Ryanair Chase. People looking ahead to the 2012 Cheltenham betting will be keeping an eye on his preparations as he aims to improve on that effort.
Things went pear-shaped at Gowran Park in October when Hennessey’s charge looked to have the Grade 2 Pricewaterhouse Coopers Champion Chase at his mercy approaching the final fence only for the son of Network to tumble out of the contest and hand the race on a plate to Sizing Europe. It was business as usual though on his next start in December as Rubi Light comfortably accounted for the classy Joncol by five-lengths to land the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase. The Betfair Cheltenham festival 2012 odds reflect this.
Bookmakers take Rubi Light’s Ryanair Chase chance very seriously and have him on offer at prices between 6/1 and 8/1, some firms quoting him as ante-post joint-favourite with fellow Irish Star Noble Prince at 6/1. Rubi Light is also in the list for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, where he is offered at odds of up to 40/1.