Wednesday 13 December 2017

Rubi to see Red in repeat of Festival build-up

TRAINER Robbie Hennessy will follow a tried-and-tested route by running Rubi Light at Gowran before heading to the Cheltenham Festival.

The seven-year-old won last year’s Red Mills Chase on the way to finishing third to Albertas Run in the Ryanair Chase.

The two-and-a-half-mile contest on February 18 is again ideal for Hennessy's charge as it comes less than four weeks before his prime objective.

“We are going to give him a run in Gowran Park on February 18 in the Red Mills and that's something to look forward with him first,” said Co Meath-based Hennessy.

“He won it last year and the weather forecast is bad for the foreseeable future, so I imagine the ground will be testing, which would play to his strengths.

“After that, we'll keep him ticking over for Cheltenham.

“He doesn't need long coming out of his races. He (will) need the same (as) last year.”

Rubi Light is a strong fancy to go two places better in the Ryanair on March 15 after a profitable campaign that |has seen him win the John Durkan Memorial Chase at |Punchestown and finish |second in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on his first try over three miles.

Rebecca Curtis is happy to |support the William Hill Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las on Saturday, although she |feels it is at the mercy of Oscar Whisky.

Nicky Henderson's charge won the race 12 months ago before finishing third in the Champion Hurdle itself at |Cheltenham and carries the colours of Ffos Las owner Dai Walters.

Even so, the Pembrokeshire trainer has entered The Jigsaw Man and Monte Cavallo.

“To be honest, whatever you run in that there's no hope of beating Oscar Whisky, but there were so few entries and it's |nice to support the local track,” Curtis said.

“That's the only reason I've put a couple in it. The Jigsaw Man ideally wants quicker ground and for Monte Cavallo it's a big ask to put him in it.

“It's only his second run over hurdles. He's one of the only two-milers I've got who will go on that ground.”

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