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.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
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: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'