FormGenie - animated banner
Cheltenham Festival 2013 

home Cheltenham Home

horse racing tipster

cheltenham festival / champion hurdle /


Ruby Sparkles in Build-up to Title Defence

Rock On Ruby, winner of last season’s Stan James Champion Hurdle, continues to please his trainer, Harry Fry, as he builds up to the defence of his hurdling crown on the opening day of the next month’s Cheltenham Festival, writes Elliot Slater.

Rock On Ruby
© Racehorse Photos

Rock On Ruby

Trained last season by Paul Nicholls, Rock On Ruby sprang a minor surprise when proving too powerful on the uphill run to the line for the front-running Overturn and the odds-on favourite and defending champion, Hurricane Fly, eventually crossing the winning line some three-and-three-quarter-lengths clear of the gallant runner-up.

A combination of an extra half-mile and the possible after-effects of his stunning Cheltenham victory contributed towards a lack-lustre effort on his final outing of last term when only third behind the classy Oscar Whisky in the Grade 1 John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle.

He occupied the same position on his seasonal return this campaign at Cheltenham in November when unable to quicken with another Champion Hurdle contender, Zarkandar, in the Grade 2 International Hurdle.

Clearly better for his initial outing of the campaign and his first run under Fry’s guidance, Rock On Ruby was upsides the smart Darlan at the final flight of the listed 32Red Hurdle at Doncaster earlier this month when his big rival took what proved to be a fatal fall. That tragedy left Noel Fehily’s mount to come home clear of last season’s Triumph Hurdle winner, Countrywide Flame.

Pundits with Bet Victor felt that Darlan was going just the better when coming to grief, but, regardless of who might have won, there is little doubt that the champion hurdler had improved significantly from his first run of the term.

Connections are now increasingly bullish that the current 6/1 chance in the Cheltenham odds can go very close indeed to retaining his title after improving again in recent work on the home gallops.

tumpline internet home | associations | bloodstock agents | bookmakers | information | horses | jockeys | links | overseas | portals | racecourses | race horse trainers | sales | studs | syndicates | submit site email
© • 91 Tribune Drive • Carlisle • CA3 0LE