Saturday 24 March 2018

Fry looks for Rock On Ruby date at Punchestown

Harry Fry
Harry Fry

Harry Fry would like Rock On Ruby to have another crack at Hurricane Fly in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.

The young trainer made no excuses for his stable star's loss of his Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last Tuesday to the previous year's winner, and Rock On Ruby kept on to finish second after making the running in first-time blinkers.

"We thought he'd be quite tired but he's come out of the race well - he was staying on again after the last - so he seems in good order," Fry said.

"We couldn't have hoped for him to come out of the race in better form and we look forward to a trip to Punchestown on April 26, all being well.

"On good ground, we really fancy our chances of serving it up to Hurricane Fly and maybe going two-one up in the head-to-head. On good ground, we can go faster for longer and really keep him out of his comfort zone.

"Obviously, soft ground has been a big plus for him as shown by his record. I think good ground is what sees us at our best and we're looking forward to the challenge."

Fry revealed it was not guaranteed Rock On Ruby would embark on a novice chasing career.

"Chasing next season is a possibility but we'll take one race at a time," he told his Stan James blog.

"One thing to say is that he's the best two-mile hurdler in this country so when you've spent all this time making him a top-level hurdler to then change discipline to fences, whether you quite reach the same heights, I don't know.

"That's the conversation with the owners over the summer to see where we go next season but there are obviously options available."

Fry confirmed the prolific Violin Davis would head for Saturday's EBF Mares' Novices' Chase final at Newbury while there are targets for Racing Plus Chase winner Opening Batsman.

"Opening Batsman is very much Aintree-bound," he said.

"He holds an entry in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown on the last day of the season and he could also hold a Punchestown entry.

"Aintree's the next target and if we tick that box, we can maybe plan for Punchestown or Sandown. It's all systems go, he's in great order and hopefully he can continue on his upward curve."

Press Association

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