Bankroll your festive punting with help of Rock On Ruby
THEY say you learn something new every day, but there are some things us men would rather not know – like what exactly a GHD is and more importantly, how much one costs.
For those of you in the dark, it's a women's hair straightener (or 'Good Hair Day') and they're priced anywhere between a ton (€100) and half a monkey (€250).
This day last week, I was blissfully unaware of this information until a mate posted on my Facebook page congratulating me on tipping Master Of The Sea, which won at Aintree at 15/8. The missus was on to it like a light and asked me if she could grab herself a new GHD out of the winnings. I hadn't a clue that three little letters could cost so much, so I sent her down the town with the credit card at her mercy. While out spending my winnings, she didn't get a chance to see me fret over my other two (losing) tips for the day.
With just 10 days to go before Christmas, time is running out to build the betting pot back up for Leopardstown, but I reckon help is at hand today and at 7/4, Rock On Ruby can put things right by winning the StanJames.com International Hurdle at Cheltenham (3.05).
Harry Fry's seven-year-old broke thousands of Irish hearts when taking the Champion Hurdle at the expense of Overturn and the odds-on Hurricane Fly at Cheltenham, but it was a well-deserved win and it built on the promise he'd shown last season.
Not every horse likes the Cheltenham course, but he was able to kick on when it mattered and was drawing away at the finish – which was no mean feat in what was an above average renewal. He had a tough enough race, it seems, and it would be unfair to judge him too harshly for his third place in the Aintree Hurdle a month later when he appeared jaded.
The break will have done him good and, if back to his best, he should see off the improving Zarkandar, trained by Paul Nicholls.
Zarkandar finished some seven lengths behind the selection when fifth in the Champion Hurdle, but he laid to rest any doubts about his ability when conceding weight all round to win the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last time.
It's an interesting story, too, from a training perspective. Harry Fry, one of the youngest in the business at 26, trains Rock On Ruby from Paul Nicholls' satellite yard at Seaborough.
The Seaborough yard is owned by Paul Barber and, even though he's still quite young, Fry has been looking after horses there for the best part of a decade under Nicholls' watch.
A new chapter is beginning, and Fry is one to keep on side.
Micheal Flips likes a bit of cut and should have no problem handling the conditions in the Paul Stewart Ironspine Charity Challenge Gold Cup at Cheltenham (2.30).
It's nearly a year since he won a race, but he's been holding his own in some decent handicaps of late and his sixth place of 15 runners at Newbury last time is overlooked as the trip was inadequate. He's prone to the odd error, but his mark is now down to a realistic level and if James Banks (claiming 7lbs) keeps him out of trouble, he can defy his 20/1 odds and be in the money.
1.55 Cheltenham: Coneygree
2.30 Cheltenham: Micheal Flips (e/w)
2.45 Doncaster: Vasco Du Ronceray
3.05 Cheltenham: Rock On Ruby
1.25 Navan: Don Cossack (tomorrow)