Andrew Lynch is looking forward to teaming up with brilliant two-miler Sizing Europe in the Clonmel Oil Chase.
The jockey believes trainer Henry de Bromhead made the right call in taking the 10-year-old out of the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal at the last minute because three miles on soft ground would have stretched his stamina.
However, Lynch expects soft ground over two and a half miles at Clonmel to be well within his compass following his first run of the season at Gowran.
The jockey said: "I can't wait. He seems in great form. It was a blessing in disguise he didn't go to the North (Down Royal), but two and a half miles on soft ground should be all right for him. I'd like to think my lad would take a bit of beating.
"He did it well in Gowran. It was a true-run race that day, so hopefully if everything goes to plan he should win."
De Bromhead is also unperturbed about the prospect of soft ground as the 2011 Queen Mother Champion Chase hero makes his second start of the campaign.
He told At The Races: "Our feeling is that the ground is not such a big issue over two and a half miles. Three miles in soft ground, after witnessing last year at Down Royal, we didn't want to see that again.
"I think Clonmel should be fine for him, it's a nice downhill run there. He hasn't run there before, but I think he'll like it. He schooled around there a few times. They were very helpful when we were first going chasing, so he knows the place."
Mouse Morris reckons Rathlin will appreciate the soft ground more than some of the opposition and reports the seven-year-old to be approaching his peak after two runs last month.
The trainer said: "He's come on a bit from Naas and is going the right way now. There are only five runners and there's nice place money there. It will be soft, but it will suit him better than a few of them, that's for sure."
7 March 2014Lockinge target for Tonto
Conor settles in at Cheltenham
De Bromhead sweet on Special
Epsom to honour St Nick
All set for a super Saturday
Mullins dominates JLT entries
Al and Dynaste top Ryanair field
Big two lead World possibles
Silver aiming to shine
Imperial only thought for Honeyball
Distance fears for Highland
Montiridge preps for Dubai trip
Ayr gets go-ahead
Ayr delay inspection decision
Benbulben misses Cheltenham
Card 'gut wrencher' for Tizzard
Guard stands tall for new record
Faugheen looms over Neptune field
Ballycasey stands firm in RSA
Sire spearheads Queen Mother list
Australia still in Derby shake-up
Henderson perfectly happy with Tent
Regal leads the way in Imperial
6 March 2014McNamara in 'excellent spirits'
Codd snapped up for Sea
Farm National bid in the balance
Byron all set for Aussie challenge
Ayr takes precautions
Bridgwater salutes unsung hero
Murtagh watches on at Lingfield
Mullins retains Fly supporting cast
Bittar welcomes bill amendments
Fenton cleared for Festival runners
Trip concerns sway McCoy to Fishers
Regal vies for Imperial rule
Mullins quintet in Supreme mix
Arkle has Champagne sparkle
Rizeena given dual Guineas options
5 March 2014Bailey praying for rain
Cee Bee supplemented for Champion
Sherwood leaning towards Bartlett
Module to take Queen Mother test
Cee Bee supplemented for Champion
Farr closes in on Winter repeat
Cirrus satisfies Barande-Barbe
Oscar teed up for Bumper raid
Tent 'sound' after injury scare
Sparrow in full flight
Seven shooting straight for Aintree
BHA soothes Mullins security fears
Moore frets over Sea Winter run
Hopes high for Alderwood return
Bolger to make late Gilgamboa call
Nay Never could be a Jersey boy
Guard gallops into record books
Cirrus fourth on Chantilly return
Security on Mullins' mind
Crecy takes Treve pacemaking role
More Of That ride up for grabs
Parade set to swerve Cheltenham
Upbeat Henderson monitoring Tent
Tea team not expecting miracles
4 March 2014Lad aiming to lift Wulfruna prize
Weld waits on Vigil call
Sherwood facing Dan deliberation
Coup was "satisfying", says Curley
Walsh: Annie can go the distance
Hughes at ease with Colonel
Wincanton switch for Artillery
Milan set for hurdles outing
Avenue back on road to Sandown
Fontwell abandons Wednesday card
Saviour likely to miss season
No World bid for Monksland
Braithwaite seeking Dream success