Rubi Light to forego Cheltenham Gold Cup for other Festival race
Rubi Light was considered as one of the outsiders capable of pushing the market leaders close in the Cheltenham Gold Cup odds, but trainer Robbie Hennessy has decided to change his plan of attack.
The last three Irish winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup were all aged seven and it was initially hoped that Rubi Light would extend this record.
However, his defeat in the Lexus Chase over 3m during the Christmas period seems to have swayed connections that another crack at the Ryanair Chase instead is perhaps the better option.
Despite being easily the youngest horse in the Cheltenham race last year and therefore lacking in experience compared to his rivals, he ran more than a creditable race to finish third behind Albertas Run.
He has since won over 2m4f this year at Punchestown and would have also beaten reigning 2m champion Sizing Europe at Gowran Park earlier in the campaign had he not fallen at the final fence.
The big strength of Rubi Light is his bold jumping and this could maybe be put to better use in the Ryanair Chase with the race being run at a faster pace.
Meanwhile, he could easily get the chief opposition off the bridle early if the decision is made to allow Rubi Light to kick on from the front with four or five fences left to jump.
One thing that Hennessy will be hoping for is some rain in the days in the run up to Cheltenham given both the horse’s guaranteed stamina and the fact his best form has been showcased on heavy ground.
Rubi Light is just one of 38 horses entered into the first declaration for the Ryanair Chase, which is the lowest ever for the race since its inception into the Cheltenham Festival card in 2005.