2:35 – Kempton – WILLIAMHILL.COM CHRISTMAS HURDLE (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (4yo+)
Good To Soft 2m
Rock On Ruby can continue his winning form over 2 miles at Kempton this afternoon. His last four runs over the minimum trip have all resulted in wins and the manner of his win at Newbury on his seasonal reappearance last month points to a big run today.
He runs in a Grade 1 race for the second time today. He finished a shorthead 2nd to First Lieutenant in the Neptune at the Cheltenham Festival over 2 miles 5 furlongs on his first attempt and looks to have two serious rivals today. Binocular was beaten in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle on his seasonal reappearance last time by Overturn and worryingly for supporters Nicky Henderson did say before the race that he was sharper than usual for his first time out and he does have some questions to answer after loosing at Aintree and Punchestown in the spring. Overturn reopposes again today, but he is running in his fourth race since 19 November and will probably not be given a big lead by Rock On Ruby at the business end of the race.
The going at Kempton is Good to Soft and in six runs in the ground Rock On Ruby has won five times and finished second once. He has not run at Kempton before but he has won on his only start on a right-handed track which was at Taunton in 2010.
He wears a tongue tie again today and he has won three times from six starts when wearing one. Ruby Walsh is in the saddle and Ruby has ridden his three times all of which have resulted in a win.
Rock On Ruby’s win at Newbury last time was very taking. His hurdling was excellent and when he was asked for his effort before the last he stayed on very well to win by 6 lengths. The form of the race is starting to work out with Raya Star winning the Listed Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot on 17 December.
With a question mark hanging over Binocular and Overturn having had a lot of racing the fact that Rock On Ruby is fresh coupled with a decent turn of foot can see him win his first Grade 1 race today at his second attempt.