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Harry Fry still sweet on Rock On Ruby Cheltenham Festival chances

Harry Fry remains in an upbeat mood as former Champion Hurdle hero Rock On Ruby continues his preparations towards a crack at the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase at this year's Cheltenham Festival.

The nine-year-old has a great record at Prestbury Park, with form figures of 1-2-2-1-3-2 including a victory in the 2012 Champion Hurdle and placed efforts behind the likes of Hurricane Fly, Bobs Worth, First Lieutenant and Zarkandar.

Although switching to chasing rather late in life and boasting just two low-key successes in small fields in this sphere, Fry is confident his charge has the necessary all-round experience to cope with such a demanding test as the Arkle.

"Obviously he's been doing plenty of schooling at home and will continue to do so right up to Cheltenham," said the Dorset trainer. "Of course we need a bit of help from the weather and for the ground to dry up, but he's got a great Cheltenham record, he's been a flag bearer for us and hopefully we can go back there and have another good day."

Among those in opposition will be another Festival favourite in Champagne Fever, who is hoping to oblige for a third straight year following past victories in the Champion Bumper and the Supreme Novices' Hurdle but has also been restricted to just two outings over fences.

Impressive Irish Arkle winner Trifolium is sure to make his presence felt, while Dodging Bullets, Valdez and several other lively longshots add to what should be a fascinating contest.

"I think the bookmakers have probably got it right at the top of the market with Champagne Fever, another horse with a great Cheltenham Festival record, even if he has missed a couple of recent engagements," added Fry.

"But we'd actually quite like to see him run in the race as I think his running style would suit Ruby in terms of he would go a good gallop in front and that's what Ruby needs, a good end-to-end gallop.

"Trifolium was good in the Irish Arkle but he looks a real soft-ground horse, while English runners like Valdez and Dodging Bullets make it a competitive race, as always, but we go into it knowing we're the best hurdler and if we can translate that to chasing then we'll take a lot of beating."


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Harry Fry still sweet on Rock On Ruby Cheltenham Festival chances

Harry Fry remains in an upbeat mood as former Champion Hurdle hero Rock On Ruby continues his preparations towards a crack at the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase at this year's Cheltenham Festival.

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