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Harry Fry’s red-hot form keeps him warm during January’s frost

| 04.01.2015

2015 may only be four days old, but if Harry Fry’s form in the early stages of the calendar year is anything to go by, it could well profit to pay close attention to the trainers runners over the next 361 days.

The former assistant to Paul Nicholls has bolted out of the traps quicker than a prize greyhound at the start of the year, claiming five winners with his first six runners following the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

His latest successes came at Wincanton, in the form of a double with Blue Buttons (who we tipped) and Fletchers Flyer, meaning the Dorset-based trainer is now just seven winners away from last season’s tally after just a few short months of the current season.

With such fantastic form puffing out his chest, Fry must be eagerly anticipating the year’s pinnacle meeting at Cheltenham, where he is yet to land a winner.

The course has been kind to him so far this season, with four winners being landed already, but a victory during the festival would be the icing on a cake that seems to have a new tier added to it with every meeting.

Rock On Ruby, 2012’s Champion Hurdle winner credited to Nicholls although prepared by Fry for his mentor, is the stable star in Dorset and will surely demand attention for this year’s Ladbroke World Hurdle, where he is a 14/1 shot with the race sponsor.

The 10-year-old has made an impressive reappearance this term, with both of his seasonal runs resulting in wins up the famous Prestbury Park hill at Cheltenham.

Fry’s other ante-post Cheltenham fancies include Jollyallan, who is an industry-best price 25/1 to win the Supreme Novices Hurdle and has won his last three over the small obstacles, including an impressive triumph under AP McCoy at Kempton on Boxing Day.

A prominent rival to Jollyallan in that race could well be Nicky Henderson’s L’Ami Serge, though, who earned himself a 5/1 ante-post price for the race after winning the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown by some distance.

Henderson claims he is tempted not to run the 5-year-old again before the March meeting, having watched him win all three runs since taking to British hurdles in November.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.