Horses To Follow » Fruity O’Rooney

Fruity O’Rooney

The diminutive Fruity O’Rooney made a big effort to make all of the running in the Class 3 three-mile handicap chase at Ascot on Friday, and he almost did, despite the fact that he consistently jumped out to his left, and that he was hassled for the lead by several opponents. All those that came to challenge him at various points through the race were fought off one by one, however, My Moment, Fredo and Swing Bill, before Prophete De Guye came and did him at the last fence under an ultra-confident Timmy Murphy ride.

Jamie Moore bounced Fruity O’Rooney out of the gate, intent on making the running. He was always forced to go a stride or two quicker than Moore would have liked though as there were several others in the race who wanted to ensure the pace was strong. He jumped out to his left, quite markedly at times, but he was also quick and accurate at times. Fredo kept him company over the first few fences but Fredo’s jockey soon relented and it was My Moment who came through down the far side of the course on the first circuit to come and press him, and even narrowly take it up briefly. My Moment was seen off by the top of the home straight first time round though, Fruity O’Rooney was in front with a circuit to run and he was nearly still there a circuit later. Fredo and Swing Bill moved up on the run out of Swinley Bottom on the final circuit, Swing Bill in particular laying down a very stern challenge. David Pipe’s horse jumped into a slender lead at the fourth from home and looked to be travelling better than Fruity O’Rooney, but Jamie Moore shook his horse up again and he was soon back alongside and the pair of them turned into the home straight together.

Fruity O’Rooney was quickly away from the second last and moved on again from Swing Bill, but he just couldn’t respond when Prophete De Guye pounced on him over the last and went a little way clear up the run-in, though he did have enough left to hold off the rallying Swing Bill and Ballycarney for second. He will be better going left-handed (his three chase wins have come on Fontwell’s figure of eight course), and probably with a greater test of stamina, and obviously if he’s not hassled for the lead. He may prefer softer ground too, his two hurdle wins came on heavy ground and he beat Sarando, a leading Hennessy Gold Cup fancy, in a novice chase on soft ground last season, although he does have plenty of form on good ground too, he is clearly pretty versatile ground-wise. He was weak in the market before this race as well, so he may have been expected to come on again for it, just his second run of the season. He is not obviously unexposed, but he is only eight, he has run just nine times over fences now, and the handicapper has left him on his mark of 134. He remains of interest off that mark.

18th November 2011