Rubi Ball back on target for Grand Steeple-Chase
France: David Cottin says he expects Rubi Ball to be at the top of his game for the Gras Savoye Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris in ten days time.
Rubi Ball has enjoyed anything but a smooth preparation on the road to France's biggest jumps race, havingtaken a crashing fall with Cottin aboard in his final prep run in the Prix Murat.
David Cottin: 100 per cent readyPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Speaking at the traditional press conference ahead of the Grand Steeple-Chase, Cottin said: "I've ridden work on the horse, and he's in very good condition. Obviously the jumping side of his preparation has been unfortunate but he has recovered very well fromthe fall. The ground at Pau [where Rubi Ball is trained] is in good condition, and I'm sure he'll be 100 per cent ready for the Grand Steeple-Chase."
Rubi Ball was second in the race 12 months ago behind Mid Dancer, of whom trainer Christophe Aubert said: "Everything is fine with the horse at the moment and the dream is alive."
Among the other likely participants for the race at Auteuil on Sunday May 20, trainer Jean-Paul Gallorini said he was aiming to have three runners in the shape of Remember Rose, Quarouso and Shannon Rock.
"He definitely has the quality to be tackling the race, but whether he has the experience is another matter," said Gallorini of Shannon Rock, who wrapped up his preparation for the Grand Steeple with a hard fought success in the Prix William Head.
Cottin shared the microphone with French Olympic hopefuls Ladji Doucoure (athletics) and Alexis Vastine (boxing) as organisers launched this year's race under the slogan "confrontation at the top."
Former World 110m Hurdles Champion Doucoure spent a morning on the gallops at Maisons-Laffitte for the filming of a promotional video.