20th November 2015, Jockey Jamie Moore
There is nothing like a winner, particularly at Ascot, and especially from ‘Heart of a Lion’ Fruity O’Rooney! This was a win his owners (and us!) will not be forgetting in a long time.
There are not many horses in this world like dear old Fruity. Small in size but with a massive heart, when Fruity is in with a chance he battles and tries like no other. He thoroughly loves his racing, thrives with his jumping and genuinely enjoys winning.
His last win came back in April 2014 at Fontwell Park, but the following season was tinged with small niggles which prevented him from performing his best. His first run of the 2015/16 season was at Exeter which he needed in terms of fitness but performed pleasingly nonetheless. Trainer Gary Moore then decided to run Fruity at Fontwell Park in the Southern National, although the 3 mile 3 furlongs trip was a concern. To ensure Fruity O’Rooney got home the blinkers were left off and the horse was dropped in, however these tactics did not work and Fruity O’Rooney sulked. After just two circuits jockey Jamie Moore decided to pull the horse up and save him for Ascot.
And what a great choice that was from Jamie! Whereas Fruity O’Rooney was a little quiet and lucklustre at Fontwell, he was buzzing and on his toes at Ascot. Able to lead alongside Loose Chips, Fruity O’Rooney jumped pretty much foot perfect the whole way round with his ears pricked – to say he loved it would be an understatement! However it was in the closing stages that the race really became thrilling. Fruity and Loose Chips jumped the last together but it was 9-year old Loose Chips who picked up and pulled into the lead. It looked all over for Fruity but the leader started to idle in front and our old boy took full advantage, digging deep and just getting in front as they crossed the line (see just how close the finish was below!) Fruity O’Rooney and Jamie were in complete unison, pushing each other to their limits but loving every single second. They really are the perfect match of horse and rider and what a lovely post race interview Jamie gave about Fruity on Racing UK.
A massive congratulations to all the owners of Fruity! This was his 9th career win, taking his prize money to £145,000, but arguably his most memorable win to date! He certainly still loves his racing and doesn’t look ready to call time on his career just yet, although that decision will ultimately be left to his owners.
We have been inundated with messages and congratulations from racegoers, all who love and admire Fruity O’Rooney. Thank you to everyone who has got in touch. We hope everyone reading this page is looking forward to Fruity’s next race as much as us!
Special thanks to Steven Cargill for the racecourse photographs, some of which can be found below. More photographs will follow. To order prints, please email firstname.lastname@example.org