Sussex favourite goes for Hennessy glory at Newbury

Fruity O'Rooney running in the Scottish National
Fruity O'Rooney running in the Scottish National

Top Sussex steeplechaser Fruity O’Rooney is going for glory for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday. It is one of the most famous and richest of handicap chases in the calendar and £150,000 of prize money is on offer.

Last season Fruity O’Rooney finished a close second at the Cheltenham festival, third in the Great Yorkshire Chase and fifth in the Scottish Grand National as well as winning at Kempton’s Christmas meeting.

Jockey Jamie Moore says of the Heart of the South Racing star: “This will be one of the toughest handicaps Fruity can run in, but I see no reason why he can’t take his chance especially as he is in the form of his life at home.

“The fences at Newbury take some jumping but no more so than Doncaster and even if we don’t win, the prize money for getting a place is still brilliant.”

His rivals on Saturday include Cheltenham festival winners Bobs Worth and Tidal Bay. Two of the current favourites Hold on Julio and The Package finished behind Fruity at Cheltenham last March, making his current price of 25-1 look very generous.

Fruity O’Rooney is trained at Cisswood Stables at Lower Beeding by Gary Moore, who is one of the most successful trainers of flat and jump horses in Sussex.

As well as training 90 horses Gary is also the father of champion flat jockey Ryan Moore, jump jockey Jamie, amateur rider Hayley Moore and apprentice Joshua Moore. The horse is owned by a 20-owner partnership operated by Sussex-based company Heart of the South Racing.