|Rock On Ruby|
Rock On Ruby at Sandown in April 2012.
|Foaled||11 May 2005|
|Owner||The Festival Goers|
|Trainer|| Paul Nicholls |
|Record||27:12-8-5 (as of November 2015)|
| Gerry Feilden Hurdle (2011)|
Champion Hurdle (2012)
Relkeel Hurdle (2014)
Ascot Hurdle (2015)
Rock On Ruby, (foaled 11 May 2005) is an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. A specialist hurdler he is best known for his performances in the 2011–2012 National Hunt season, when he won the Gerry Feilden Hurdle at Newbury in November before winning Britain's most prestigious hurdle race, the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on 13 March. After failing to make a mark as a steeplechaser he returned to hurdling and won the Relkeel Hurdle in 2014 and the Ascot Hurdle in 2015.
Rock On Ruby is a bay horse bred in Ireland by John O'Dwyer. He is one of many successful jumpers (including Oscar Whisky, Big Zeb and Lord Windermere) sired by Oscar, a son of Sadler's Wells based at the Grange Stud in County Cork.His dam Stony View never raced but has produced at least two other winners. Rock On Ruby was first offered for sale as a foal in November 2005 when he was bought for €23,000 by the Whitehorse Stud. As a four-year-old gelding, he was sent to the Doncaster sales in May 2009 where he was bought for £23,000 by Richard Barber and entered the ownership of the Festival Goers syndicate. Although the horse was officially trained by Paul Nicholls at Ditcheat in Somerset, he was actually stabled twenty-five miles away in Nicholls' satellite yard at Seaborough in Dorset where his day-to-day conditioning was handled by the assistant trainer Harry Fry.
Rock On Ruby began his career by running in National Hunt flat races. On his first appearance in a minor event at Newbury in November 2009, he finished fourth to Oscar Whisky, who went on to win the Aintree Hurdle in 2011 and 2012. Rock On Ruby recorded his first win on his next start at Taunton in February, beating Karasenir by three quarters of a length when ridden by his namesake, Ruby Walsh.On his only other start of the season he beat Karasenir again, this time carrying top weight of 163 pounds in a similar event at Newbury in March.
Rock On Ruby began the 2010/2011 season by winning his third successive National Hunt flat race, this time at Cheltenham, and was then campaigned in Novice Hurdle races (races confined to horses which have not won over hurdles before the start of the season). He made a successful hurdling debut by winning a race at Newbury in December by six lengths: few details of his victory were reported as the race was run in thick fog.He was then moved up in class to contest the Grade II Classic Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in January. He jumped the last hurdle level with Bobs Worth but was beaten by two and a half lengths after his jockey dropped his whip 120 yards from the finish. Rock On Ruby was then promoted to the highest level at the Cheltenham Festival where he ran in the Grade I Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle over two miles five furlongs. Ridden by Daryl Jacob, he took the lead at the last hurdle and ran on strongly but was caught "in the last stride" and beaten a short head by First Lieutenant. On his final start of the season, he finished third behind Spirit Son and Cue Card in the Mersey Novices' Hurdle at Aintree in April.
After being campaigned over longer distances as a novice, Rock On Ruby was brought back in distance on his first race of the 2011/2012 season. Running over two miles in the Gerry Feilden Hurdle, a handicap race at Newbury, he carried top weight of 164 pounds and won "readily"by six lengths from his stable companion Empire Levant, to whom he was conceding 24 pounds. Following this win he was strongly fancied for the Grade I Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park and started 7/4 second favourite behind the 2010 Champion Hurdler Binocular. Rock On Ruby took a slight lead at the second last hurdle and looked the likely winner but after what the Racing Post described as a "thrilling battle", finished second to Binocular, beaten a neck at level weights.
In the 2012 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on 13 March, Rock On Ruby started 11/1 fourth choice in the betting, behind the reigning champion, Hurricane Fly, Binocular, and Zarkandar. From the start of the race, Rock On Ruby, ridden by Noel Fehily, tracked the leader, Overturn, and then moved up to dispute the lead two hurdles from the finish. He took a decisive advantage turning into the straight and ran on strongly under pressure, showing what the Daily Telegraph described as "tremendous courage"to win going away by three and three quarter lengths from Overturn, Hurricane Fly, and Binocular.
On his final start of the season, Rock On Ruby was sent to Liverpool for the Aintree Hurdle on 14 April. He led until being overtaken at the second last hurdle and finished third to Oscar Whiskey and Thousand Stars.
For the 2012/2013 National Hunt season, Rock On Ruby was officially trained by Harry Fry, who was now operating independently from Nicholls. He made his first appearance for his "new" trainer in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December when he finished third behind Zarkandar and Grandouet. Rock On Ruby had his trial race for his second Champion Hurdle in the 32Red Hurdle at Doncaster Racecourse in February in which he was matched against the Triumph Hurdle winner Countrywide Flame and the Nicky Henderson-trained Darlan, who had been favourite for the championship since winning the Christmas Hurdle. Rock On Ruby took the lead at the last hurdle and won by three lengths, but his victory was overshadowed by the death of Darlan, who was fatally injured in a fall at the last.At Cheltenham on 12 March Rock On Ruby started the 11/2 third favourite for his second Champion Hurdle. He led the field until the second last hurdle before being overtaken and beaten two and a half lengths by Hurricane Fly. On his final appearance of the season, he was sent to Ireland where he finished third to Hurricane Fly and Thousand Stars in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.
Rock On Ruby began the new National Hunt season in a hurdle race at Kempton in October in which he finished second, ten lengths behind The New One. On 16 December, the gelding ran in his first steeplechase when he started 1/10 favourite for a minor Novice race at Plumpton Racecourse and won "very easily" by four lengths.Only one horse, the Nicolls-trained Mr Mole appeared to oppose Rock On Ruby when he warmed up for the 2014 Cheltenham Festival in a novice chase at Doncaster on 9 February. Rock On Ruby led from the start and, despite two minor jumping errors, won by ten lengths. On 11 March, he started the 5/1 for the Grade I Arkle Challenge Trophy over two miles at Cheltenham. He made a very bad mistake at third fence, almost unseating Fehily, who dropped his whip. He never recovered and came home last of the eight finishers behind Western Warhorse. The gelding returned to hurdling in the Aintree Hurdle on 3 April. Starting at odds of 10/1 he took the lead at the eighth hurdle but was overtaken by the odds-on favourite The New One after the second last obstacle. He rallied strongly after the last but was unable to overhaul The New One and finished second, beaten a head by the winner. After the race, Harry Fry said that he was "thrilled to bits" with the performance and announced that the horse would be returned to hurdling permanently, with the 2015 Champion Hurdle as his principal objective.
On his first appearance of the new season, Rock On Ruby finished third in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton on 8 November, conceding thirteen pounds to the winner Purple Bay. On 13 December he started favourite for the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham and recorded his first hurdle win in twenty-two month as he defeated the five-year-old Volnay de Thaix by two and a quarter lengths. Four weeks later the gelding added a win in the Dornan Engineering Hurdle over the same course and distance, beating Vaniteaux and Cole Harden by two and a half lengths and a neck. He was trained for the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival but was withdrawn a week before the race after contracting a respiratory infection. Rock On Ruby returned in the Aintree Hurdle on 9 April in which he started third choice in the betting behind Jezki and the Champion Hurdle runner-up Arctic Fire. He raced in second before taking the lead at the second last but was badly hampered when Arctic Fire fell at the final hurdle and finished second, thirteen lengths behind Jezki.
On 21 November 2015, Rock On Ruby started second favourite on his first start of the season when carrying top-weight in the Ascot Hurdle. He travelled well and looked to be overtaken in the home straight but after a major jumping mistake by one of the threatening rivals, Rock On Ruby managed to find more and extended at the line to win by two and half lengths.
Less than a week later on 27 November, trainer Harry Fry announced that Rock On Ruby has been retired following a tendon injury that he suffered when winning the Ascot Hurdle. Fry explained the decision to retire the ten year old: "if he was a younger horse we might have considered treating the injury and bringing him back a year or more later".
| Sadler's Wells (USA)|
|Fairy Bridge||Bold Reason|
|Snow Day (FR)|
Stony View (IRE)
| Tirol (IRE)|
|Alpine Niece||Great Nephew|
|Stony Ground (IRE)|
|La Melba (Family:4-i)|
Denman was an Irish-bred National Hunt racehorse sired by Presenting. Known as The Tank, Denman was widely known for his great rivalry with Kauto Star for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. This large horse with a front-running style won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2008.
Big Buck's is a retired National Hunt racehorse trained in Britain by Paul Nicholls. He is owned by businessman Andy Stewart and specialised in racing over hurdles. At the 2012 Cheltenham Festival, Big Buck's made history by winning 4 consecutive World Hurdles, confirming his status as the greatest staying hurdler in history. He was retired on 13 March 2014.
Morley Street (1984-–2009) was an Irish racehorse. He was a specialist hurdler but also won steeplechases and races on the flat. In a racing career which lasted from November 1988 until December 1995, he ran forty-five times and won twenty races including the Champion Hurdle in 1991 and the Aintree Hurdle on four successive occasions. He won the title of American Champion Steeplechase Horse on two occasions, as a result of back-to-back wins in the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase.
Bobs Worth is an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. He has won the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle in 2011, the RSA Chase in 2012 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2013 at the Cheltenham Festival, making him the first horse since Flyingbolt in the 1960s to win three different races at consecutive Cheltenham Festivals. In 2012, he also won the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury. Bobs Worth is trained by Nicky Henderson, owned by the Not Afraid Partnership.
Silviniaco Conti was a French-bred, British-trained Selle Français racehorse who competed in National Hunt races. After winning several important races over hurdles he emerged as a leading long-distance steeplechaser in 2012. After winning both his races in his native country, the horse won his first three races in England, culminating with a success in the two and a half mile Ascot Hurdle. After running poorly over shorter distances he was ruled out of a bid for the Champion Hurdle and was switched to steeplechasing. In his first season as a chaser he won the Mildmay Novices' Chase and finished second in a strong renewal of the Feltham Chase. In the 2012/2013 season he won the Charlie Hall Chase, Betfair Chase and Denman Chase and in the following season he was rated the best jumper in Britain and Ireland after wins in the King George VI Chase and Betfred Bowl. In the 2014/2015 season he recorded repeat victories in the Betfair Chase, King George VI Chase and Betfred Bowl but failed when favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. In the following season he was beaten in his first three races but returned to form in February to win the Grade One Ascot Chase by 20 lengths.
Zarkandar is an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who competed in National Hunt races. A half-brother to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Zarkava he won one of his three flat races before being gelded and becoming a specialist hurdler. He was the best juvenile hurdler of the 2010/2011 National Hunt season when he won the Adonis Juvenile Novices' Hurdle, Triumph Hurdle and Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices' Hurdle. In the following season he won the Betfair Hurdle but finished unplaced in the Champion Hurdle. In the 2012/2013 he won the Elite Hurdle, International Hurdle, Kingwell Hurdle and Aintree Hurdle, although he again ran disappointingly in the Champion Hurdle. He failed to win when campaigned over longer distances in 2013/2014 but began his next season by winning the Grand Prix d'Automne in France. He continued to compete in Graded hurdle races, winning the Rendlesham Hurdle in February 2017 and was retired the following year. He won 11 of his 35 races and earned over £900,000 in prize money.
Al Ferof is a retired French-bred British-based National Hunt horse owned by John Hales. He was initially trained by Barry Murphy in wexford for Martin Timothy Murphy. He was then trained by Paul Nicholls and won the 2011 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival before progressing to chasing the following season, where he won several top races including the Paddy Power Gold Cup. He moved to the stable of Dan Skelton in 2015 and won the Peterborough Chase for his new trainer. Al Ferof was retired from racing in October 2016.
The New One is an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who competed in National Hunt races. In a career running from November 2011 to December 2018 he ran in 40 races, winning 20 times, being placed a further nine times and earning over £1,000,000 in win and place prize money. In the 2011/2012 National Hunt season he won three of his four races when competing in National Hunt Flat races including the Champion Standard Open NH Flat Race at Aintree Racecourse. In the following year, competing over hurdles, he won four of his six starts including the Leamington Novices' Hurdle and the Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. In the following season he won the International Hurdle and finished third in Champion Hurdle before winning the Aintree Hurdle. In the 2014/15 season he won his first four races including a second International Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle Trial. The New One was retired after being pulled up in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham on 15 December 2018.
Albertas Run was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who competed in National Hunt races. He won two National Hunt Flat races and became a successful hurdler, winning the National Hunt Novices' Handicap Hurdle Final and the John Smith's Extra Cold Handicap Hurdle in 2007. He became more successful as a Steeplechaser, winning four Grade I races: the Royal and SunAlliance Chase, the Melling Chase and two runnings of the Ryanair Chase. His other wins included the Reynoldstown Novices' Chase, the Amlin 1965 Chase and the Old Roan Chase.
My Tent Or Yours is an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who competes in National Hunt racing and has finished second in three editions of the Champion Hurdle. In his first season, he showed promising form in National Hunt Flat races, winning on his debut and finishing second in the Champion Standard Open NH Flat Race. In the following year he was one of the best novice hurdlers in the British Isles, winning the Betfair Hurdle against more experienced rivals and the Top Novices' Hurdle at Aintree. In the 2013/2014 National Hunt season he won the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and the Christmas Hurdle and finished runner-up in the Champion Hurdle. His later career was interrupted by injury but he returned to finish second in the Champion Hurdle in 2016 and 2017. In December 2017 he returned to Cheltenham to win the International Hurdle on his seasonal debut after a protracted battle with The New One.On 9 December 2018 it was announced that My Tent or Yours was retiring to JP McManus's Martinstown Stud.
Darlan was a British Thoroughbred racehorse who competed in National Hunt racing. In a nine-race career that lasted from April 2011 until February 2013, he won six times, finished second once and fell twice. After winning his only National Hunt Flat race, he was one of the leading novice hurdlers of the 2011/2012 season, winning four races including the Top Novices' Hurdle. In the following year, he established himself as a leading contender for the Champion Hurdle by winning the Christmas Hurdle, but was killed in a fall in his next race.
Jezki is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse who competes in National Hunt racing. After showing promise in National Hunt Flat races he won five times as a novice hurdler in the 2012/2013 season, with his victories including the Fishery Lane Hurdle, Royal Bond Novice Hurdle, Future Champions Novice Hurdle and Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle. In the following season he won the WKD Hurdle and the Hatton's Grace Hurdle before taking the 2014 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse and following up with a win in the Racing Post Champion Hurdle. In the following season he was beaten in his first three races by Hurricane Fly and finished fourth to Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle before winning the Aintree Hurdle over two and a half miles and defeating Hurricane Fly in the World Series Hurdle.
Lord Windermere is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse who competes in National Hunt racing. He is a successful steeplechaser, winning the RSA Chase in 2013 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2014.
Oscar Whisky was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who competed in National Hunt racing. In his early career he showed promise, winning two National Hunt Flat races and two novice hurdles. In the 2010/2011 National Hunt season he emerged as one of the leading hurdlers in the British Isles, winning the Welsh Champion Hurdle and the Aintree Hurdle as well as finishing third behind Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle. In the following season he won the Relkeel Hurdle and a second Aintree Hurdle. He won the Ascot Hurdle and a second Relkeel Hurdle in 2012/2013 before being moved up to compete in steeplechases in the following season when he won the Dipper Novices' Chase and the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase. Oscar Whisky was fatally injured in a fall at Sandown Park Racecourse on 6 December 2014.
Granville Again was an Irish-bred racehorse who competed in National Hunt races and recorded his most important win in the 1993 Champion Hurdle. In his early career he won two of his three National Hunt Flat races and was a successful Novice Hurdler, winning the Dovecote Novices' Hurdle and Top Novices' Hurdle as well as finishing second in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. In the 1991/1992 season, Granville Again won all five of his completed races including the Champion Hurdle Trial and the Scottish Champion Hurdle but fell when second favourite for the Champion Hurdle. In the following season he was beaten in his first three starts but returned to his best form to defeat a strong field in the Champion Hurdle. He never won again and failed to finish in the first three in his last ten races. He was retired from racing in 1996 and died in 2003 at the age of seventeen.
Vautour was a Thoroughbred racehorse who competed in National Hunt racing and won three times at the Cheltenham Festival. After beginning his racing career in France he moved to Ireland and made an immediate impact over hurdles in the spring of 2014 winning the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle, Deloitte Novice Hurdle, Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Tattersalls Champion Novice Hurdle.
Dodging Bullets is a British Thoroughbred racehorse, best known for his performances in National Hunt races. Bred by the leading jockey Frankie Dettori he had a flat racing career of limited importance, winning two minor races from nine starts as a three-year-old in 2011. He showed better form when switched to hurdles, winning the Sharp Novices' Hurdle in 2012. He proved even better when he began to compete in steeplechases, winning the November Novices' Chase and the Wayward Lad Novices' Chase in 2013. In the 2014/2015 National Hunt season he emerged as one of the best chasers in Britain, recording three consecutive Grade 1 wins in the Tingle Creek Chase, Clarence House Chase and Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Thistlecrack is a British Thoroughbred racehorse who competes in National Hunt races. Unraced until he was five years old, he recorded his first win in a National Hunt Flat race in 2014. In the 2014/15 National Hunt season he won two minor hurdle races before improving when tried over long distances and winning the Grade 1 Sefton Novices' Hurdle. In the following season he established himself as the best staying hurdler in Britain with wins in the Long Distance Hurdle, Long Walk Hurdle, Cleeve Hurdle, World Hurdle and Liverpool Hurdle. When switched to steeplechasing in the following season he made an immediate impact, taking the Worcester Novices' Chase before beating more experienced horses in the King George VI Chase.
Altior is an Irish-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who competes in National Hunt races. After winning one of his three National Hunt Flat races he was unbeaten in five hurdle races including the Sharp Novices' Hurdle and Supreme Novices' Hurdle. In the 2016/2017 National Hunt season he won six consecutive steeplechases including the Henry VIII Novices' Chase, Wayward Lad Novices' Chase, Game Spirit Chase, Arkle Challenge Trophy and the Celebration Chase.
Buveur d'Air is a French-bred British-trained AQPS racehorse who competes in National Hunt races. After winning twice in his native France he moved to England and won the Top Novices' Hurdle in 2016. In the following season he won two steeplechases before reverting to hurdle races to win the Contenders Hurdle and then recording his biggest success in the Champion Hurdle. In the 2017–18 season he was unbeaten, winning the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, Christmas Hurdle and a second Champion Hurdle.