Improvement expected from Ruby

  • Last Updated: February 5 2013, 14:03 GMT

Harry Fry feels there's plenty of improvement left in reigning Champion Hurdler Rock On Ruby following his win at Doncaster on Monday.

Rock On Ruby: All roads lead to Cheltenham
Rock On Ruby: All roads lead to Cheltenham

The eight-year-old was having only his second race of the season in the 32Red Hurdle and his trainer, writing in his exclusive Stan James blog on Tuesday said: "Rock On Ruby's absolutely fine this morning. He's been for a lead-out and then a pick of grass and he's full of himself so thankfully he's fit and well.

"We haven't been able to jump on grass since before the International in December . All he's been able to do is jump round a big indoor barn which is fine for getting him off the ground but they're only doing that at a canter. Taking him out on the grass makes a big difference to him.

"It's slightly different to the routine and we can really let loose at those hurdles and get him really quick and electric in his jumping."

Rock On Ruby's Doncaster win was overshadowed by the tragic death of Darlan who suffered a fatal fall at the final flight of hurdles.

"it goes without saying, it's not the way anyone wants to win a race," Fry added.

"I just can't express how sorry we are for the connections of Darlan. Nicky (Henderson) was understandably very upset and all his team, and of course owner JP McManus and AP McCoy. It's a very sad end for a hugely talented horse. Unfortunately, this is a game we love and we all know it does happen but it's always a shock when it does."

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