sports gazette

Take advantage of Rubi drift

Big Buck's will hope to be the first reigning champ to defend his title.
Published: 15 Mar 2012

Robbie Hennessy's horse is still improving and he is big value at 10/1 now to improve on his third place finish in the Ryanair last year.

The drift of Rubi Light this morning is confusing. It looked for the last two weeks that Robbie Hennessy’s horse would be forced to race on fast ground which would not have suited but the going has definitely eased up today and is now officially riding good to soft.

It was good ground here last year when he was third in this race - as a novice in all but name - and Andrew Lynch came in that day and said he would have won had it been softer. He has improved 11lbs on the book since then and he is arguably still improving. His running style and jumping ability hold him in good stead around Cheltenham and at 10/1 he could be the bet of the Festival.

I respect Riverside Theatre but he could well be a flat track horse, his run the Arkle two years ago was puzzling and he also has the possibility of the bounce factor to overcome. Somersby should have gone for the Queen Mother and I still think that he is a better horse over that trip. Noble Prince was the Jewson winner last year but he must improve on the form he has shown so far this season, while Blazing Tempo who beat Paul Nolan’s horse at Fairyhouse could be good value each way.

The big race of the day sees Big Buck’s attempting to salvage the pride of last year’s champions and win his fourth World Hurdle. He’s a solid 4/6 shot but I’m taking him on here. In facing the likes of Oscar Whisky, So Young, Voler La Vedette and Thousand Stars, the reigning champ has a totally different challenge on his hands. All of the above mentioned have top class form over shorter distances and have every chance now of being as effective over three miles.

My preference is for Thousand Stars, who is extremely consistent and has already a Grade One win over three miles to his name. He is a Festival winner already and he can give Big Buck’s a lot to think about today.



Rubi light, 2pts win, 10/1, general.


Thousand Stars, 1pt win, 9/1, Ladbrokes.

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