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New Direction as Champion Hurdle Ruby goes Chasing


December 11th, 2013 - The 2012 champion hurdler, Rock On Ruby, is likely to make a surprise debut over fences at Plumpton on December 16 after connections decided to bring forward their plans to tackle the larger obstacles following a disappointing run over timber last time out.

Easily brushed aside when beaten 10 lengths by rising star, The New One, in a listed hurdle at Kempton in October on his seasonal bow, trainer, Harry Fry, stated that his star performer would nonetheless remain over timber for the rest of the season.

But after sitting down and reviewing the performance, and after significant discussions with the connections of the gelded son of Oscar, the decision has been taken to have a crack at novice chasing this season with the two-mile Winter Gala Novices Chase at Plumpton pencilled as the first port of call.

Fry, who suggested to racing betting pundits that his charge would be up against it this season if he stayed over hurdles, reports Rock On Ruby to have schooled really well over fences on the home training grounds.

Should he fail to take to chasing then the option to return to hurdles remains open for the horse who surprised the racing live betting markets by chasing home the mighty Hurricane Fly in the 2013 Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

In that race, he put up a brave defence of the crown he took in unexpected fashion 12 months earlier when powering up the hill to beat Overturn by nearly four lengths, with the odds-on defending champion, Hurricane Fly, only third.

Trained by Paul Nicholls when enjoying his finest hour, Rock On Ruby’s training was overseen by Fry who was then assistant to Nicholls at Ditcheat. When Fry decided to set up on his own the eight-year-old’s owners, The Festival Goers, decided to send him the champion in acknowledgement of the role he played in preparing the horse for his greatest success.

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