sport

Rock On Ruby misses Lightning

Rock On Ruby will miss Saturday afternoon's Racing Post Lightning Novices' Chase at Doncaster after further rain fell overnight.

Trainer Harry Fry warned on Friday the 2012 Champion Hurdle hero's participation was in some doubt, stating "it doesn't need to get any softer than what it is".

With a further six millimetres of rain falling at the Town Moor circuit, Fry has made the difficult decision to withdraw his stable star and likely favourite from the Grade Two contest.

"Plan A was obviously to run him this afternoon, but we said yesterday it was going to be dependant on the weather," said the trainer.

"I've spoken to the clerk of the course at Doncaster and they've had a good six millimetres of rain overnight. They also raced on Friday, so the ground has opened up and the rain will get in.

"We are being over cautious, but we can't take any chances with his breathing. If we get it wrong this close to Cheltenham, we could mess things up, so we'll just have to wait.

"It's frustrating, but there are a couple options in a fortnight or so. There is another ordinary novice chase at Doncaster on February 6, there is a race back at Plumpton on February 10, where he won his first novice chase, and there is also a two mile three (furlong) race at Exeter.

"I would imagine he'll be entered up in all three of those and we'll try and pick the best option.

"We need to get another run in between now and Cheltenham, but he is ground dependant.

"We then have to hope the ground comes up good at Cheltenham in March."