Rubi Light aiming for Gowran repeat

Robbie Hennessy is praying Rubi Light comes through his final Cheltenham Festival prep race unscathed at Gowran Park tomorrow.

Robbie Hennessy is praying Rubi Light comes through his final Cheltenham Festival prep race unscathed at Gowran Park tomorrow.

The seven-year-old finished a highly-creditable third in the Ryanair Chase at the Festival last year and results this season suggest he is an improved horse.

After claiming his first Grade One prize in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase, the gelding filled the runner-up spot on his first try at three miles in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.

He bids for back-to-back victories in the Red Mills Chase this weekend and Hennessy is keeping everything crossed things go to plan.

“He had a blow this morning and he seems to be in top form, so fingers crossed,” said Hennessy.

“It seems a great idea to run here as it fits in well with Cheltenham in mind.

“He won it last year before going on to run a cracker in the Ryanair, so we thought we’d stick with the same type of plan.

“It would be great for him to pop around safely and if he won well, that would be a bonus.

“A bit of confidence going to Cheltenham would be good for him.

“If the ground happened to be heavy, it would inconvenience the other horses more than him, but he goes on any ground really.

“We’re obviously really excited about going back to Cheltenham and you’re feeling his legs 10 times a day to make sure everything is all right.

“For a small yard like us, to have a good horse like him, is great.

“Fingers crossed everything goes well tomorrow and all roads lead to Cheltenham then.”

Rubi Light faces just four rivals, with champion trainer Willie Mullins relying on the in-form Apt Approach.

Chicago Grey, The Fonze and Trafford Lad complete the line-up.

The other major prize on the card is the Red Mills Hurdle, in which the Mullins-trained Zaidpour takes top billing.

He is unbeaten in three starts this season and is in the mix for either the Champion Hurdle or the World Hurdle at Cheltenham next month.

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