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Ruby Light aiming to shine bright again starting at Clonmel

Updated: Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 12:02 | Comments

Rubi Light was third on a seasonal return at Gowran Park
Rubi Light was third on a seasonal return at Gowran Park

Robbie Hennessy is eyeing a trip to the Cheltenham Festival and a crack at the Grand National ahead of Rubi Light's attempt to get his season back on track at Clonmel.

The Grade One-winning chaser performed creditably when third behind old rival Sizing Europe on his seasonal return at Gowran Park, but was unable to trouble Arvika Ligeonniere in either the Clonmel Oil Chase or the John Durkan Memorial at Punchestown.

He was even more disappointing in the Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting, but the trainer is hoping a subsequent operation will turn around his stable star's fortunes.

The nine-year-old returns to the smaller obstacles for the first time in almost four years in Thursday's Munster Hurdle.

"He had an operation on his palate last month and we are hoping that will make a difference," said Hennessy.

"He seems to be working well at the moment, it's a long time since he ran over hurdles but we're hoping it will help him get his confidence back.

"He burst a blood vessel the last day, which we put down to him displacing his palate, so hopefully that's rectified now.

"He looks well-in over hurdles, so we're hoping he'll run well and we'll make a plan from there.

"If he runs a nice race, it would be nice to go to Cheltenham for the Ryanair (Chase)."

Rubi Light will be partnered by Andrew Lynch when he faces five opponents in Clonmel's two-and-a-half-mile opener.

The Christy Roche-trained Indian File and Colm Murphy's The Westener Boy both carry the colours of leading owner JP McManus, while champion trainer Willie Mullins saddles Perfect Gentleman.

Late Night Deed and Our Katie complete the line-up.

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