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Last Updated: 27/12/11 5:19pm
Rubi Light: Finds everything easy
Robbie Hennessy believes that Rubi Light has every chance of seeing out the three mile trip of the Lexus Chase on Wednesday as the ground continues to dry out at Leopardstown.
The six-year-old steps up to this trip for the first time on the back of a superb victory in the John Durkan Chase over two and a half miles at Punchestown earlier this month.
"Everything has gone great since the John Durkan. I couldn't be happier with the horse," said the County Meath trainer.
"I'd say if we are ever going to get three miles it will be tomorrow (Wednesday) with the ground drying out.
"It will be on the yielding side of good, I'd imagine. There will be no problems at all and no excuses.
"We're meeting Joncol, who was second to us in the John Durkan, but he would probably want it softer. Quito De La Roque is obviously the one we all have to beat.
"We will know where we stand with the horse after tomorrow. We will know then what we have on our hands.
"You couldn't fault him. He's a great horse to train. Everything is easy and simple with him. He came out of the race at Punchestown with not a bother on him. He only lost four kilos and within a day he had it back on.
"He's in great form and, for a change, everything has gone great."
Paul Nolan believes Joncol will appreciate the step back up to three miles as the eight-year-old bids to improve on his third place in the last two runnings.
"He's in really good form and the step back up in trip will definitely suit him," said the trainer.
"It's a very good race, as you would expect. Quito De La Roque and Rubi Light both won Grades Ones last time, Noland is coming over for Paul Nicholls as well.
"It's competitive and you would imagine three miles will suit us better than last time, but you also can't say that Rubi Light won't prefer three miles.
"He is very, very decent and is rated 5lb above us and the highest-rated horse is Quito De La Roque.
"Davy Russell and Andrew Lynch have both ridden Rubi Light and they have no doubts that he will stay three miles, while Quito's form against Sizing Europe means that he will be a very hard horse to beat.
"Our lad ran well the last day and I'm just hoping he can be competitive again. He looks well and I'm hoping that he will run a big one but when races are this quick after their last start, you just don't know if they'll flatten out after the third-last. Fingers crossed."
Colm Murphy gave Quito De La Roque plenty of time to recover from his hard-fought victory in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal nearly eight weeks ago.
The County Wexford trainer reports the eight-year-old in fine shape to go back into battle.
"It's all systems go, and I'm very happy with him at the moment," said Murphy.
"He was very tough in Down Royal and he had a hard race, but he's had time to get over that and he seems in good nick.
"It's another good race. On paper him and Rubi Light look the two to beat. I was impressed with him the other week.
"But I'm happy with our horse and hopefully he can run well again."
Connections of Synchronised would love to see rain ahead of the race to help the stayer.
The Jonjo O'Neill-trained eight-year-old is going for Grade One glory, rather than bid for a repeat victory in the Coral Welsh National.
"He's in great form. I hope we get a drop of rain for him," said Frank Berry, racing manager to owner JP McManus.
"It's a big step up in class for him, but if we get a drop of rain it will help.
"He would have had to carry 11st 11lb at Chepstow, so that would not have been straightforward."
O'Neill said: "When it came to the five-day declarations, the weights went up another 5lb for the Welsh National and he is not the biggest horse, so we thought it was better to compete on level weights in the Lexus.
"He's in great order and the ground can't be soft enough."