2014 Racing News

Rupert Appeals as Long-term National Prospect

Connections of the smart chaser, Time For Rupert, suffered a disappointing time of things last season when the nine-year-old was restricted to just one outing in the autumn before suffering an injury that saw him placed on the easy list for the rest of the campaign.

A suspensory ligament problem was the cause of the absence from racecourse duty of the gelded son of Flemensfirth, who had been one of the stars of the novice chasing division the previous season when winning his first two outings in fine style.

He then ran below-par when only fifth to Bostons Angel in the Grade 1 RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival having been sent off hot favourite with Betfair punters.

More of a relentless, grinding galloper than a horse with a lightning turn of foot, Time For Rupert ran a number of good races the following season, culminating in a brave fifth placed effort behind Synchronised in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

He made a satisfactory reappearance last term when fourth to the high-class Silviniaco Conti in the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby last November, only to be found to have suffered the injury that has kept him out of action ever since.

Reports from the yard of trainer, Paul Webber, suggest that the winner of eight of his 20 career starts is back on the comeback trail.

While the Gold Cup might be flying too high, a crack at the £1 million Crabbies Grand National at Aintree on April 5, would appear feasible with a horse who generally jumps well and stays ‘longer than the mother-in-law’.

Available at odds of 75 at this early stage of the season, a return to form for Webber’s star could make that price but a distant memory come Aintree in April.

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