Light shines in Durkan win

Rubi Light captured his first Grade One victory in tremendous style with a brilliant performance in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown.

Rubi Light captured his first Grade One victory in tremendous style with a brilliant performance in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown.

Robbie Hennessy’s six-year-old put his rivals to the sword, leading fully six fences from home and never being seriously challenged.

Jockey Andrew Lynch’s tactics worked as the 5-2 joint-favourite soon built up a handy lead and had the opposition trailing in his wake.

Joncol stayed on well after making a crucial mistake at halfway to be beaten five lengths in second place without threatening the winner.

Cooldine was a remote third, 29 lengths away, with Trafford Lad last of the four finishers.

The pace proved too much for last year’s winner Tranquil Sea, who was pulled up before the final fence where Roi Du Mee came down when well beaten.

Kempes was always in arrears after making a mistake at the first fence before suffering a fatal fall at the fifth-last.

“That was good. Andrew got off him and said he would come on from that. He got a little bit tired,” said Hennessy.

“He was a sick horse but has been working brilliantly the last two weeks. Obviously he loved the ground.

“Andrew wasn’t making a mistake at the last. He gave him a kick and sent him on and he was foot perfect. I imagine he’ll come out of that all right. He looks all right.

“We’ll look at the Lexus now. It’s something to look forward to. That will tell us if we have a Gold Cup horse or a Ryanair horse.

“It would be great if we had a Gold Cup horse. He’s only six so he’s going the right way.”

Stan James believe the Ryanair Chase is Rubi Light’s race at Cheltenham and cut him to 12-1 from 14s.

“Rubi Light was impressive in taking his first Grade One chase today and he has a live chance of taking the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham,” said Stan James’ Joe Burke.

“He was only beaten three lengths into third in the same race last season and going there next March as a seven-year-old, he will be just coming into his prime.”

Jim Culloty has a smart recruit in Lord Windermere (4-1), who outpointed Dylan Ross in the INH Stallion Owners EBF Novice Hurdle.

Tom Doyle was at his strongest on the lightly-raced five-year-old, who got the better of the evens favourite by a head after a prolonged duel.

“He’s improving with every run and he’s a slow learner. He’s a big chaser and he’s got an engine. He’s in the Grade One novice hurdle at Leopardstown at Christmas but that might come a bit soon for him,” said Culloty.

“We’ll find a race for him in February and that will decide which route he goes.

“Whatever he does he’ll go novice chasing next October.”

Lord Windermere is 33-1 with Stan James for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Please Talk earned quotes of 20-1 for the Supreme Novices’ and 16-1 for the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle after justifying strong market support in the 2012 Annual Membership Maiden Hurdle.

Backed down from 4-1 to 5-2 favourite, he pulled away from the opposition in some style in the straight to easily put the race to bed.

The five-year-old, owned by JP McManus and trained by Noel Meade, was eased down close home by jockey Paul Carberry as he defeated Not For Converting by four and three-quarter lengths.

“Whatever he does over hurdles is a bonus as chasing is his game. He has a really good pedigree, he loves soft ground and he stays well,” said Meade.

“He’ll go for a novice hurdle in about a month’s time. I was very disappointed he got beaten in his bumper the first day at Fairyhouse. Maybe the ground was a bit quick for him.”

Seabass (7-4 favourite), refreshed after a recent point-to-point win in his first race since February 2010, took the Weatherbys Ireland GSB Handicap Chase for trainer Ted Walsh in the hands of his son Ruby.

Another father and son combination, Willie and Patrick Mullins, were on target with 5-4 favourite Morning Royalty, 17-length winner of the concluding bumper.

The Michael Hourigan-trained Crash (7-2) stuck on well to take the Ladbrokes Supporting Longford GAA Beginners’ Chase under 5lb claimer Adrian Heskin.

Kyle’s Turn (16-1) rallied in game fashion to foil That’ll Do Me by a head in the 10euro Admission to Durkan Day Handicap Hurdle.

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