Options Remain Open for Talented Rubi Light

The revelation that the Robbie Hennessy-trained, Rubi Light, was suffering from a lung infection when a well beaten last of three behind Flemenstar at Punchestown in early December has come as something of a relief to connections, who had been concerned that the talented chaser may have to have a breathing operation.

The French-bred gelding had travelled nicely on the heels of the highly regarded pair of Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs, but stopped very quickly after the third from home and made a noise, a sign that there is some sort of breathing difficulty.

This caused concern to all those who had opted to watch racing online with bet365 that day, but subsequent tests have revealed that the gelded son of Network was a sick horse that day.

With the infection now out of his system, it is literally ‘all systems go’ and a possible crack at the big guns again at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting in either the three-mile Lexus Chase, or the two-mile-one-furlong Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase.

The only doubt about Rubi Light’s participation is the ground, as the seven-year-old is at his best on a decent surface and, if conditions came up very testing, it is more than likely that Hennessy would choose to wait for another opportunity rather than give his charge a very tough race on unsuitable terrain.

Over the last 18 months, Rubi Light has run a series of fine races, beginning with his defeat of Roberto Goldback in the Grade 2 Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park in February 2011, after which he was a tremendous third to Albertas Run in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

He recorded his biggest success to date when triumphing in the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown last December (beating Joncol by five lengths).

He then ran a fine second to the subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Synchronised, in the Grade 1 Lexus Chase at Leopardstown, before winning the Red Mills Chase for the second year running, slamming the decent Chicago Grey by 16 lengths.

Horse racing betting sites are clearly divided on the prospective chance of Rubi Light in the feature events at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, in particular for the Gold Cup where he is as quoted as low as 20/1 in the racing odds with some firms. He is, however, available at a massive range of odds all the way up to 100/1 in places.

There is a little less division of opinion on his chance in the Ryanair Chase, for which Hennessy’s charge is available at between 16/1 to 25/1.

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