It is a feat that has only been achieved twice, by Clair Soleil who won the Champion Hurdle in 1955 and the Spa Hurdle in 1959 and Merry Deal won followed his 1957 win in the two-miler with victory in the 1962 stayers contest.
Now ten, Rock On Ruby added his name to the Champion Hurdle roll of honour in 2012 and his trainer Harry Fry confirmed an attempt at history was on the cards. “We’ll have to enter him for the World Hurdle,” he said.
“We won’t know if he stays until we try but he won’t run in the Cleeve. We don’t need to try beforehand and I’d rather bring him back here in March a fresh horse.”
Hardy Eustace was the most recent Champion Hurdle winner to attempt the double, while Solwhit — like Nomadic Way — won a World Hurdle having run in a Champion Hurdle. Rock On Ruby gave hope he could achieve the remarkable feat by routing a field of young pretenders, blending speed, stamina, class and guts to power up the Cheltenham hill two and a half lengths clear.