Moscow Flyer is also on the sick list, having "scoped dirty" yesterday he is now on a course of antibiotics. In place of Jessica Harrington's mighty chaser the Irish may send over the only two horses to have defeated him in completed chases, Rathgar Beau and Central House.
Dessie Hughes, the latter's trainer, said: "I only entered him because Jessica rang to tell me Moscow Flyer wasn't running. I would say he's more likely to go to Cork [for the Hilly Way Chase] instead."
Kauto Star, second-favourite behind Moscow Flyer for the Champion Chase next March and runner-up to Monkerhostin in the Haldon Gold Cup on his seasonal return, missed a crack at the Arkle Trophy last year when injured following a fall and controversial remounting by Walsh at Exeter in January.
Fitzgerald, naturally delighted to get such a good mount to pursue his winning sequence in major races, said: "I picked up the paper this morning and saw Ruby had hurt his shoulder, and almost by chance Paul rang me at the same time to say I ride on Saturday.
"You had to be impressed with Kauto Star's last run as he doesn't have much experience over fences. To jump and travel like he did in such a competitive race first time out shows he has a lot of talent.
"The Railway fences do come rather quickly but Ruby is very sweet on this fellow and he is a very sound jumper - he was just unlucky when he fell at Exeter."
* Heavy snowfall causing reduced visibility and a slippery surface on the Polytrack all-weather track forced the abandonment of Wolverhampton's meeting after three races yesterday.
TINGLE CREEK CHASE (Sandown, Saturday) William Hill: 2-1 Kauto Star, 7-2 Ashley Brook, 9-2 Monkerhostin, 5-1 Rathgar Beau, 8-1 Central House, 9-1 Oneway, 14-1 Sporazene, 20-1 Hand Inn Hand, 25-1 Armaturk, Locksmith, 50-1 Kadarann, 200-1 Dangerousdanmagru.
Nap: Wild Savannah (Lingfield 2.20)
NB: Blue Business
- More about: