Belfast Telegraph

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Light likely for Ryanair bid

Rubi Light is more likely to have a second crack at the Ryanair Chase than go for Cheltenham Gold Cup glory after being beaten into second in the Lexus Chase.

After winning his first Grade One prize in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase, the six-year-old stepped up to three miles for the first time at Leopardstown and ran with credit to chase home surprise winner Synchronised.

While Rubi Light's trainer Robbie Hennessy feels his star turn stayed the distance well enough, he is leaning towards the shorter Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival - in which he finished third last season - rather than the three-and-a-quarter-mile Gold Cup.

Hennessy said: "There's not a bother on him and we were happy with the horse. I was a bit surprised by the winner as everyone thought he wanted bottomless ground, but he did it really well.

"Andrew (Lynch) came in after the race and said our lad just didn't quite handle the faster ground. He would definitely have preferred it softer, but having said that, a few others would probably have liked it more testing as well.

"I think he stayed the three miles all right. He managed to hold off Quito De La Roque in the straight, which makes you think he stayed well.

"We won't make any decision yet but at this stage, I'd be inclined to say he'll run in the Ryanair again at Cheltenham, rather than the Gold Cup. He's still only a six-year-old, so hopefully there is time to go for the Gold Cup one day."

Rubi Light is likely to have one more run prior to the Festival in March, with Hennessy weighing up the options.

"He'll have an entry in the Irish Hennessy, or he could go back to Gowran for the Red Mills Chase, which he won last year," the trainer added.

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