Harry Fry is not ruling out another attempt at three miles with Rock On Ruby despite his comprehensive defeat in Saturday’s West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby.
Having missed last season’s World Hurdle at Cheltenham after suffering a setback, the 10-year-old was tackling the longer distance for the first time on his return to action and although he travelled well for a long way, he was ultimately no match for the impressive Kilcooley.
Fry feels the testing conditions, rather than the trip, were to blame for his slightly disappointing finishing effort.
“He seems to have come out of the race well. Unfortunately the ground went against him and he did well to finish second,” said the Seaborough-based trainer. “We know he hates that ground – he just can’t jump out of it – and he was never going to catch the impressive winner.
“I wouldn’t rule out trying that trip again, but it would have to be on better ground.”
Connections have already identified the two-and-a-half-mile Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham as a likely target. However, with the Grade Two contest moved from it’s regular December slot to the New Year’s Day fixture at Prestbury Park, Rock On Ruby could make an appearance in the meantime.
“We’re looking at the Relkeel. Whether we can get another run in before then depends on what the ground is like, what options there are and how he is. We’ll see,” said Fry.
“He is still full of enthusiasm.”
Despite Rock On Ruby’s eclipse, Fry still enjoyed a Wetherby double, with Blue Buttons particularly impressive in Listed mares’ hurdle. The seven-year-old is now likely to pursue a career over fences.
Fry said: “We’ll probably stick to Plan A and go over fences. There’s a mares’ novice chase at Wincanton on November 19, so we could head there.”