sport

Rubi Ball ruled out for season

Rubi Ball will miss the rest of the season after suffering a setback that caused him to bypass Sunday's Hennessy Gold Cup.

The French import was ruled out of Leopardstown's three-mile feature by Willie Mullins after returning home lame following a schooling session at Punchestown last weekend.

The problem has forced Mullins not to take any chances with the three-time winner at the top level.

"He's out for the season," said Ireland's champion trainer.

The nine-year-old showed his class when third to Bobs Worth in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas on his second start for Mullins and in his first run over fences since leaving his native country.

He was entered in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at next month's Festival and the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree.