Bet of the day: Rock On Ruby to claim Coral Hurdle at Ascot
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | November 20, 2015
Rock On Ruby ready for Coral Hurdle challenge
Punters have to decide where they sit in the age-old debate over youth versus experience when it comes to the market leaders in the feature race at Ascot on Saturday, the Coral Hurdle.
The sponsors of the 3m three-and-a-half furlong contest make Harry Fry gelding Rock On Ruby a narrow 6/4 favourite ahead of Phillip Hobbs’ young pretender Brother Tedd.
While the latter undoubtedly has a progressive profile, evidenced by victory on his seasonal reappearance at Kempton in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle, which is further than Saturday’s trip, a little too much is being made of the 8lb weight difference between Brother Tedd and Rock On Ruby.
Ruby has won at heavier weight before
On similar ground that is good to soft in places, Rock On Ruby took the Dornan Engineering Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day ahead of Vaniteux and eventual World Hurdle winner Cole Harden, and all while carrying top weight of 11st 10lb on his back.
While Fry’s horse has been runner-up in two outings since, Brother Tedd performed poorly on the same racecard at Prestbury Park when sixth of eight in a novices’ hurdle. He could only improve on that and has, but is now making a step up to take on another horse of real calibre.
Rock On Ruby’s accomplishments are well-documented. Since winning the 2012 Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, he’s finished outside the top three just once in 15 subsequent outings and that includes five wins.
Naysayers will point to Brother Tedd carrying just 11st and victory over Silviniaco Conti last time out, but must realise this horse is a course specialist with three victories from as many outings around Kempton Park.
In-form Barry Geraghty is now partnering Rock On Ruby with a 30 per cent success rate in his 10 rides during the last week, so it should pay this time to side with the experienced 10-year-old.