Fry relishing the future for Rock

  • Last Updated: February 13 2013, 15:41 GMT

Oscar Rock will need soft ground if he is to line up in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival next month.

Oscar Rock impresses at Newbury
Oscar Rock impresses at Newbury

Trainer Harry Fry is already eyeing next year's Festival for the exciting five-year-old, who impressed when scoring at Newbury at the weekend.

Writing in his blog on Stanjames.com, Fry said: "He showed them a clean pair of heels and the further he was going, the better he was looking.

"It was great for a plan like that to come off and he's going to be seriously exciting. He is seriously exciting and the sky's the limit for him at the moment."

Fry is looking forward to stepping him up in trip over hurdles next season and continued: "He will hold an entry for the Cheltenham bumper as if it came up very soft we'd have to seriously look at him taking his chance but, really, we think he's a horse for next year and beyond.

"He's shown enough speed for us to think the Neptune - that's where we'd like to be aiming for in 12 months' time and it'd be very exciting if we can."

With Wincanton's meeting on Saturday, including the Kingwell Hurdle, under pressure due to the wet weather, Fry says he is even more grateful that he was able to run his Champion Hurdler Rock On Ruby at Doncaster last week.

"We certainly made the right call with Rock On Ruby running at Doncaster when we had the chance. It was all thanks to the BHA and Doncaster themselves for putting the race on because if that hadn't have been there, with the way the course is with the forecast, we wouldn't have been running on Saturday and we'd have had to have gone to Cheltenham without a prep-run."

My Tent Or Yours could line up against Rock On Ruby next month although the Supreme Novices' Hurdle appears more likely for Nicky Henderson's impressive Betfair Hurdle winner.

Fry said: "To win the Betfair Hurdle the way he did on Saturday, he's obviously a seriously hot prospect. If he was to go for the Champion Hurdle, you'd have to respect him for sure.

"That's one of the most competitive handicaps of the season and he's won it hardly off the bridle. He is certainly improving rapidly and wherever he turns up, he's going to be a big threat.

"Personally, I'd be trying to win the novice race and worrying about the Champion Hurdle in a year's time. They've still got Binocular who wasn't at his best first time out but he never is. You could say they've got Jezki for the Supreme but, if he was mine, I'd definitely be going the novice route and building towards next season. I think with these young horses, like Oscar Rock, it's about stepping stones and if he was mine, that's what I'd be inclined to do."


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