Mudlark Rubi Light among a field of ten for the Punchestown Gold CupPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Boston Bob a surprise absentee at Punchestown
BOSTON BOB, second in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, was on Tuesday missing from the declarations for Wednesday's Grade 1 Irish Daily Mirror War Of Attrition Novice Hurdle.
Trainer Willie Mullins had said at a media morning last week that the 3m contest was the plan, but instead declared Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle fifth Sous Les Cieux, Vesper Bell and Marasonnien.
Speaking to the Racing Post, Mullins said: "We had been planning to run Boston Bob in the race but we decided that he had done enough for the season."
In Wednesday's showpiece contest - the Grade 1 Thetote.com Punchestown Gold Cup - ten have been declared with mudlark Rubi Light nibbled at in the market.
Rubi Light is 3-1 (from 4-1) as he tackles 2-1 favourite Quel Esprit, last year's winner Follow The Plan, who is 10-1 to retain his crown, and British raider Quantitativeasing, the mount of Tony McCoy.
Philip Hobbs: Captain Chris worriesPICTURE: Martin Lynch
Captain Chris, winner of last year's Ryanair Novice Chase, is the other British-trained runner and his trainer Philip Hobbs said: "The course will suit him better and he won there last year, but the ground is a concern.
"He ran on well in the Ryanair, but I'm not certain. The ground could make it a real test, but it could mean they go a bit slower and the bigger question is whether he'll act on it as he's never run on anything softer than soft and he was beaten that day."
Champagne Fever and New Year's Eve, the first two home in this year's Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, will lock horns again in the Betchronicle.com Champion Bumper, which attracted 12 runners.