Countrywide Flame fired up for Fighting Fifth

Last Updated: 28/11/12 5:46pm

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Countrywide Flame: Fighting Fifth hopeful

Countrywide Flame: Fighting Fifth hopeful

Sky Bet

Countrywide Flame has been confirmed an intended runner in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday.

Trainer John Quinn voiced concerns about the prospect of testing conditions earlier this week, but connections have now given the four-year-old the green light.

Sean Quinn, the North Yorkshire handler's son and assistant, tweeted: "We just spoke with @RobEstio (owner) and given Countrywide Flame's well being have decided to let him take his chance in the Fighting Fifth this weekend.

"I just hope Newcastle don't get any more rain to put the meeting in jeopardy.

"Looking forward to it now!"

Countrywide Flame was a 33/1 winner of the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, but proved that to be no fluke with a sound effort behind Grumeti at Aintree a month later.

He made a winning return to the Flat at Chester in September and was only narrowly denied Cesarewitch glory at Newmarket last month.

Trainer Harry Fry will wait until Thursday morning before deciding whether to let Rock On Ruby take his chance in the two-mile Grade One.

The seven-year-old was prepared by Fry to win last season's Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, when officially trained by Paul Nicholls.

Fry has since started out on his own and had been looking forward to seeing his stable star start off the new campaign in the Fighting Fifth, but heavy conditions would not be ideal.

He said: "Declaration time is obviously 10am in the morning and we'll leave it as late as possible.

"He's ready to go, but unfortunately the weather has messed things up a bit."

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