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Cobden relishing Elite Hurdle with Rubaud

3 minute read

Harry Cobden is relishing the chance to record back-to-back Elite Hurdle victories as Rubaud bids to remain unbeaten for the season at Wincanton this Saturday.

Jockey : Harry Cobden
Jockey : Harry Cobden Picture: (Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Harry Cobden teamed up with champion jump trainer Paul Nicholls when partnering Knappers Hill to land the Grade 2 prize twelve months ago and the pair will be hoping Rubaud can repeat the feat this weekend.

The son of Air Chief Marshal scored twice in Grade 2 company last season, with victories in the Sky Bet Dovecote Novices' Hurdle and the Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle and will now step back up to that level following a successful reappearance in a Listed event at Kempton last month.

That success at Kempton saw Rubaud's mark rise to a career-high 150 and Cobden is hopeful there's plenty more to come from him this weekend, as he attempts to give Nicholls a record-extending ninth success in the one-mile seven-furlong hurdle.

Cobden said: "Rubaud is in good form after winning at Kempton the other day. The handicapper put him up nine pounds for that, but you would want a good one to get by him here I would say. 

"He was impressive when he won the Scottish Champion Hurdle last season, but he was only running off a mark of 135 then. Now he is up to 150 and hopefully, he can run up to that mark.

"I can't think of too many horses in this country that would beat him in this division in Britain apart from Constitution Hill.

"He would struggle to lay a glove on Constitution Hill, but someone has got to win these races and we might as well keep him in this division and win as much as we can."

The Cheltenham Festival-winning rider is confident that his reappearance outing at Kempton will have brought the five-year-old forward for his first outing at the Somerset venue.

Cobden added: "He needed his first run as he hadn't been away for a gallop. The runner-up at Kempton [Too Friendly] was race fit and Rubaud was fresh.

"He can take a chance at his hurdles and the only thing I would say about his Kempton Park run was that he was a bit low at the odd one, but he got away with it.

"That run will have taken the gas out of him.

"He is a horse that really wants it, and he will stick his head out for you. He has got a nice way of galloping, and he has a nice low-head carriage."

Rubaud is as short as 8/11 with Paddy Power to land the Grade 2 hurdle at Wincanton on Saturday.

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