Rebel with a cause set for busy summer

Rebel Fitz is set for a busy summer after capitalising on Ballycasey’s fall to lift the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse.

A mixed bag such as the Grimes Hurdle at Fairyhouse in July and the Galway Plate over fences two weeks later could be on the cards for the versatile and talented nine-year-old.

Michael Winters’ charge enjoyed a profitable summer in 2013 and there was a lot to like about his 16th victory from 26 starts.

Ballycasey attempted to make all the running for trainer Willie Mulins and was still in front when coming down at the second last, following his stablemate Mozoltov who had taken a tumble just after halfway. That left Rebel Fitz (2-1) in the lead under Barry Geraghty and he jumped the last in style to beat his remaining rival Bright New Dawn readily by 15 lengths.

“He came off the bridle like he did at Cork the last time and he had to stretch at a few fences down the back,” said Winters.

“My horses have not been flying for the last six months and I’d say there’s more to come from him.

“We’ll give him a couple of weeks off now. We may go for the Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary and the Galway Plate could be a possibility.”

The Mullins team had some consolation with the triumph of Daneking (6-1) in the Boylesports Easter Festival Handicap Hurdle.

The lightly-raced five-year-old, owned by Rich Ricci, led after jumping the second-last flight to seal victory by three lengths under Paul Townend.

“The ground was a big help, and we’ll look at the big two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Punchestown,” said Mullins.

“He’s not a chaser so we may look at the Flat for him, although I don’t want to fire him up too much as we’ve been trying to get him settled over hurdles. The hood worked well today.”

Lots Of Memories (14-1) turned the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle Series Final into a procession as he spreadeagled his field.

A Grade Three scorer at Cork in November, the Paul Fahey-trained seven-year-old looked a cut above the opposition as he won easily in the hands of 5lb claimer Shane Butler.

Leading after three out, Lots Of Memories went further and further away to strike by six and a half lengths despite being eased down close home.

The winning trainer indicated a significant rise in grade now awaits the impressive winner.

Fahey said: “We put him away to give him a crack at a decent handicap. He’ll go for the Grade One three-mile novice (Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle) at Punchestown now.”

The Noel Meade-trained Road To Riches (2-1) ran his rivals into the ground when making all the running in the Coolmore Stud Novice Chase.

Paul Carberry switched to the Gigginstown House Stud runner after stablemate Ned Buntline was withdrawn and dictated affairs on the seven-year-old to win by three and three-quarter lengths.

Meade said: “He’s a funny horse, but when he gets his own way he can be good. He’s by Gamut and it’s possible that he wants that ground. We tried to keep him fresh at home and with it getting near the end of the season it is possible he could go to Punchestown.”

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