14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Ruby and Darlan clash at DoncasterHeadlines
Rock On Ruby

Last year's Champion Hurdle hero Rock On Ruby heads a small but select field of just four runners in the 32Red Hurdle at Doncaster.

Impressive Christmas Hurdle winner Darlan and Countrywide Flame, winner of the Triumph and Fighting Fifth Hurdles, add plenty of spice to a Listed contest run on a card added by the British Horseracing Authority last week following the spate of recent abandonments.

Completing the quartet is Clerk's Choice, who is no slouch and was sixth to Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival.

Harry Fry is delighted to get a second run of the campaign into Rock On Ruby before he defends his crown next month.

"At the beginning of the week we were thinking Wincanton or not running at all but we definitely wanted a run, if we could, between now and March," the Dorset trainer told

"The ground is drying there all the time so it's a great opportunity, timing-wise, to get a run in before March. It'll take him to the next level and put the extra edge on him that he needs to be in with a chance of retaining his crown.

"You'd have to say a trial race isn't really going to be run to our strengths, whereas a strong out-and-out gallop like in the Champion Hurdle will be.

"You can get a bit of a dawdle to begin with and it can turn into a sprint. Obviously we'll be trying make sure that doesn't happen, but we could end up doing all the donkey work, which we know isn't our forte.

"With the speed Darlan showed in the Christmas Hurdle, you'd have to say the ball's in his court. Countrywide Flame's no mug either, especially on what he did at Newcastle in the soft. It's certainly going to be an informative race and we're looking forward to running.

"Schooling went well on Thursday with Noel (Fehily). He came down and sat on him and was very happy, so we're full of confidence."

1 December 2015

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30 November 2015

Violet Dancer hot to trot at Plumpton
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David Pipe keen on Kempton run for Un Temps Pour Tout
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Noel Fehily pays tribute to Rock On Ruby

29 November 2015

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28 November 2015

Thistlecrack goes the Distance at Newbury
Willie Mullins hands Gitane Du Berlais Carlisle assignment
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Identity Thief faces acid test in Fighting Fifth
Kasakh Noir puts down early Cheltenham marker with Newbury success
Warren Greatrex backs Cole Harden to go the Distance at Newbury
Harry Fry calls time on Rock On Ruby career due to injury
Willie Mullins says Wicklow Brave is fighting fit for Newcastle date

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