Rock On Ruby was an impressive winner of the Eventmasters Corporate Hospitality Novices' Chase at Doncaster.
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Just two runners were scheduled to face the starter and having satisfied himself as to the state of the going, Harry Fry allowed his stable star to take his chance, the bookmakers making him a 2/7 chance to land the spoils.
As the tapes rose, Noel Fehily took the favouritestraight into the lead and despite a brief moment after the fourth last when Mr Mole took closer order, his supporters were never given much to worry about as the nine-year-old jumped well and only had to be shaken up to see off his younger rival.
Noel Fehily said of the winner: "He jumped very well and we've quickened up nicely. I thought he was very good on his feet today and he's a different horse to what he was before Christmas."
A relived Fry added: "Noel was happy so we're happy - Noel said he feels a better horse than 12 months ago and that emphasises how he turns the corner from January onwards. March brings the best out on him him. We have four or five weeks to put the finishing touches to him.
"He's gone and attacked every fence and he just pecked after the last, so it's all systems go now.
"He's a nine-year-old, so has experience at the very highest level even though he hasn't faced many horses this year."
Coral and Paddy Power go just 6/1 about Rock On Ruby for the Racing Post Arkle but Sky Bet left him unchanged at 8/1.
Sky Bet spokesman Michael Shinners said: "We didn't learn anything new about Rock On Ruby today but at least it was more match practice for him. Clearly he faces a much sterner test at Cheltenham but he has a touch of class and a fine Festival record."