Will Ruby Rock Cheltenham?
8:23am 11th March 2014
Dorset trained racehorse ‘Rock On Ruby’ could make history at National Hunt Racing’s Cheltenham Festival today. If the horse, trained at Seaborough, near Beaminster can win the ‘Arkle Trophy’ chase this afternoon he will be the first ever former Champion Hurdler to go on to win the Championship race as the fastest novice steeplechaser. Trainer Harry Fry switched ‘Ruby’ to the larger obstacles earlier this season. He’s won both his prep races over the bigger jumps.
The 9 year old Irish bred bay gelding, handled and much loved by assistant trainer Ciara O’Connor, lines up for the 2.05 race with regular jockey Noel Fehily. ‘We are so lucky to have a jockey of Noel’s experience on him. He knows the horse well and I totally trust his judgement,’ says Fry, who says he will be screaming at the top of his voice if they’re in with a chance of victory at the final fence.
Rock on Ruby’s main threat is ‘Champagne Fever’ the bookies favourite, though ‘Ruby’ is tipped for victory by some pundits including Sky Sports’ Alex Hammond.
Fry has other runners at the Festival, including ‘Highland Retreat’ in the 4.00, the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle, where Quevega is aiming to win the race for the 6th successive year. He says she has a realistic chance of a place finish.
Tomorrow Fry saddles ‘Assam Black’ in the champion ‘bumper’, on Thursday ‘Vukovar’ aims for victory in the JLT Novices Chase. Harry says the 2.5 mile trip should suit him better than 2 miles in the ‘Arkle’ , and Activial is expected to run in the Triumph Hurdle on Friday, subject to ground conditions being right.
Victory would bring Harry Fry his first success at the festival, having won his first ever race at Cheltenham on New Years’ Day thanks to ‘Mendip Express’, which is being prepared for the Scottish Grand National on April 12th.