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Rock on Ruby camp hope for dry spell at Punchestown

Updated: Saturday, 20 Apr 2013 19:15 | Comments

Rock On Ruby takes on Hurricane Fly on Friday
Rock On Ruby takes on Hurricane Fly on Friday

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Harry Fry is hoping for drying conditions at Punchestown ahead of Rock On Ruby's rematch with Hurricane Fly in Friday's Rabobank Champion Hurdle.

Rock On Ruby beat a below-par Hurricane Fly into third when taking top honours in last year's Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and ran another fantastic race when defending his crown last month, but this time had to make do with the runner-up spot as Hurricane Fly bounce back to his brilliant best.

The Willie Mullins-trained superstar aims for his fourth successive win in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle next week and Fry admits the current conditions favour the reigning champion.

Speaking in his blog for www.stanjames.com, Fry said: "Obviously we'd like it to be nice and sunny between now and next Friday to dry the ground out a bit. I think it's currently soft, heavy in places.

"Sprinter Sacre has been confirmed (for Tuesday's Boylesports.com Champion Chase) so either Nicky Henderson's not as worried about the ground as he was or he's been told it will improve. I hope it's the latter for our sake come Friday but I'm told that it can dry particularly quickly.

"I think we're definitely going. Barring requiring Noah's Ark, I think we'll be there.

"It's not his ideal ground as he's definitely better on good ground. The softer it is, the more it favours Hurricane Fly - they're definitely his conditions.

"If we're going to beat him, we need as much in our favour as possible and drier ground would certainly suit us. We're going out there to run and we just hope the weather comes for us."

Live television coverage of the Punchestown Festival from Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 April on RTÉ Television and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only).

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