Rupert's time may come only in the longer run

 

The opposition to Long Run, who is now as short as 4-6 for the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday, is diminishing, both numerically and figuratively. Rubi Light, one of seven entered against the returning Gold Cup hero in the first Grade One contest of the domestic campaign, will now not make the journey from Ireland after a below-par workout yesterday morning. And Time For Rupert's chance of victory was summed up by his own trainer as "a pipe dream."

Time For Rupert, who lost his unblemished record as a novice last season when suffering a pulmonary haemorrhage in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, joined battle as a senior with second place in last month's Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. And though Paul Webber is certain that the burly star of his Oxfordshire string will strip fitter this time, he also acknowledges that his upcoming test, three miles round the flat acres of Haydock, is unlikely to play to his strengths.

"We were very pleased with Wetherby," he said. "The horse passed the health test and recovered really well and, after his experience in March, that was the most important thing. He seems in very good order; with a race under his belt he is a lot tighter, something like eight or 10 kilos."

The seven-year-old's last three victories and all his best performances have come at jump racing's showcase venue in Gloucestershire, clearly a course for this particular horse. "What he needs is a stiff three miles or more, and an uphill finish," added Webber. "I think it's a pipe dream of beating the Gold Cup favourite round Haydock, but we might have a better chance round Cheltenham."

Last year's Ryanair Chase third Rubi Light was poised to beat Sizing Europe when falling at the final fence at Gowran Park last month, but has not fully recovered from a recent infection. "The race is a week too soon for him," said his trainer, Robbie Hennessy. "He's back to 90 per cent, but that's not enough."

With Ruby Walsh on the dual Gold Cup winner Kauto Star at Haydock, Daryl Jacob,No 2 at the Paul Nicholls yard, will partner stablemate Master Minded for the first time in public in the Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot. The former two-mile champion will be on an important retrieval mission after recent defeats.

Sir Henry Cecil was knighted by the Queen yesterday and his charge Frankel was named Horse Of The Year at the end-of-season Cartier awards ceremony in London last night. Divisional prizes went to Danedream (three-year-old filly), Dream Ahead (sprinter), Fame And Glory (stayer), Cirrus Des Aigles (older horse), Dabirsim (juvenile colt), Maybe (juvenile filly) and Barry Hills (award of merit).

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

King's Grace (1.40 Hexham) Regarded as one of the best young chasing prospects in his powerful yard, he may well take high rank as a novice hurdler.

Next best

Deputy Dog (1.30 Warwick) With the application of blinkers and A P McCoy can start to fulfil the promise of his chasing debut in the spring.

One to watch

Mabel Tasman (Neil Mulholland) ran with much promise in smart company two weeks ago after a long, injury-provoked absence and is likely to start off in handicap hurdles on an attractive mark.

Where the money's going

Oscar Whisky is a solid 6-4 favourite with most firms for Saturday's Coral Hurdle at Ascot.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)