Fitz serves up fine display of front-running

THE talented Michael Winters trained Rebel Fitz lit up Cork yesterday with a fine display of front-running to land the INH Stallion Owners’ EBF Novice Hurdle.

Fitz serves up fine display of front-running

Partnered with supreme confidence by in-form Davy Russell, the progressive six-year-old bounded across literally every flight and had no trouble storming clear of a pair of useful sorts in Absolutelyfantastic and Black Benny.

Rebel Fitz has been hindered in the past by a tendency to get very much on his toes before a race, but seemed far more relaxed here.

Russell made his intentions clear from the start and never had an anxious moment, as the winner scored with lots in hand.

Commented Winters: “We were very happy with the horse today. We gave him a few pieces of work at Adrian Maguire’s (his brother-in-law) last week and put Adrian up.

“Adrian said we could ride him anyway we wanted and he’d nearly come out of retirement to be aboard.

“There’s a race at Thurles over two and a half miles, or he could come back here for a Grade 2 over three miles, we’ll see.”

The featured Follow Us on Twitter Kinsale Handicap Chase was won in impressive fashion by Eoin Doyle’s King High.

He came there cantering in the straight and only had to be asked for minimum effort from two out by Shay Barry to ease clear of Majestic Oak.

Said Doyle: “That was his first time in blinkers and he did it well. He will probably go to Cheltenham now for the November meeting.”

The Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Novice Chase saw the high-class First Lieutenant go under to a shock nose defeat behind De Valira.

First Lieutenant was left in the lead when Stephanie Kate fell three out, but De Valira soon emerged as a major danger, travelling sweetly for Ruby Walsh.

The winner challenged at the final fence and went about a length up on the run in. First Lieutenant, however, rallied in terrific style and probably would have won in another stride.

De Valira’s trainer, Jimmy Morrissey, said: “I am delighted for the owner (Donal Mac A’Bhaird) to have a winner at his local track.

“If the horse is sound in the morning he will come back here next month, but today was his Gold Cup.”

Davy Russell said of First Lieutenant: “He was left in front too soon and I am not disappointed.’’

The Steven Ryder trained Pink Coat landed a little touch in the Maiden Hurdle, finding 16-1 from 33’s.

He made every yard of the running and never flinched up the straight to easily beat the promising Trifolium and Glamorous.

Rider, Shane Hassett, reported: “No one wanted to make it, so I did and it worked out perfectly.”

Michael Darcy was quite superb in making all on Denis Cullen’s Catch The Moment in the Handicap Hurdle.

He soon grabbed a huge advantage and a mistake at the second last made no difference, the mare crossing the line seven and half a lengths to the good.

Reported Cullen: “She’s very quirky and you just have to roll up with her and see what happens. She’s mad and he’s (Darcy) mad!”

Ex-winning pointer, Michael Hourigan’s Ballysteen, cruised ahead two furlongs down for Robbie McNamara to take the Bumper.

“I thought he’d win and will probably go hurdling now”, said Hourigan.

The Christmas Party Raceday December 11th Handicap Hurdle saw Bonifacio arrive with a late burst for Tommy Treacy to shoot past the flattering Tear Drops and score by four and a quarter lengths.

Three jockeys were suspended for their use off the whip through the course of the afternoon, Andrew Lynch and Ian McCarthy for seven days and Stephen Gray for two days.

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