herald

Monday 23 April 2018

Rubi rocked by Foil' show

FOILDUBH denied French import Rubi Ball a debut win for Willie Mullins when edging out the hot favourite in the Rock of Cashel Hurdle at Thurles.

Rubi Ball had been a prolific winner in France and was expected to get off the mark at the first time of asking for the champion Irish trainer, but the eight-year-old had to settle for second spot.

After making the early running, Rubi Ball was overtaken with more than a circuit of the track left by Foildubh (7/2) as Paul Carberry took charge on John Ryan's consistent nine-year-old.

Ruby Walsh brought Rubi Ball to challenge from the third-last flight but the 1/2 shot could not get past the long-time leader despite a late flourish.

Mullins was not despondent after the reverse, saying: "It appears he'd be better going left-handed. He probably found the ground too good. All his best form was on heavy ground and he doesn't seem to have too much respect for the hurdles.

"At least he ran a race and it's something to work on."

Foildubh could now be headed for the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, although Carberry's availability is seen as crucial.

Ryan said: "He's definitely a much better horse this year and is stronger.

"He missed the last two fences in Clonmel the last day.

"We'll probably go for the Lexus next, but it all depends if we can get Paul Carberry.

"The horse will go wherever we can get him to ride.

"The step up to three miles in the Lexus would be no problem.

"He's got loads of stamina."

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