Rebel Fitz unlikely to run at Galway after setback

Dual Galway Festival winner Rebel Fitz is likely to miss this year’s meeting after suffering a minor setback.

Rebel Fitz unlikely to run at Galway after setback

The Mick Winters-trained nine-year-old was a popular winner of the Galway Hurdle in 2012 and completed a hat-trick over fences at Ballybrit last summer.

He was last seen clinching Grade One glory in the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse in April and connections had been eyeing a tilt at the Galway Plate, but Winters revealed that plan is likely to be shelved.

He said: “He came out of Fairyhouse in great form, but later on we found he had a small injury between his joint and his hoof, a bit like a sprained ankle.

“He’s had to have a couple of months off and we sent him away. He’s been on the treadmill and we’ll go down and see him.

“We might start riding him on the roads in a fortnight and see how we go, but we’ll just have to tread carefully.

“We’ll get him scanned and see how we go, but I don’t think he’ll be going to Galway.

“We won’t take any chances with him.”

Meanwhile trainer Monica Dowdall Blake is eyeing a tilt at the Curragh Cup with talented mare Shu Lewis following her excellent run in defeat against Missunited earlier this month.

Just three-quarters of a length separated the pair in the Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown, with Missunited building on that victory to run a massive race in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on Thursday, beaten just half a length into third.

Dowdall Blake is understandably delighted to see her own mare’s form boosted and she is now likely to turn up at the Curragh on June 29.

“We were all rooting for Missunited and it was great to see her run so well,” said the trainer.

“There aren’t many races for us to run in, so we’ll aim for the Curragh and I’m sure all the usual suspects will be there.

“Our mare is an eight-year-old, but she didn’t start racing until she was five. She started off in bumpers and has progressed from there.

“She didn’t have a great year last year. She had a wind operation in the middle of the season and it has taken until now for her to come right.

“She ran very well in Leopardstown and actually beat Missunited in a bumper.”

Willie McCreery is eyeing a return trip to France with Fiesolana following her creditable effort at Royal Ascot.

The Aussie Rules mare won five times during a tremendous 2013 campaign and was snapped up by leading owners Flaxman Stables during the off-season.

She was slightly disappointing on her return to action at Saint-Cloud, but bounced back when narrowly denied by Purr Along in the Lanwades Stud Stakes at the Curragh and backed that up with a fine effort to finish fourth in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes.

McCreery believes his stable star will benefit in coming back from a mile and sees the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, run over six and a half furlongs, as an ideal target.

McCreery said: “She ran to the pound with the filly that beat her at the Curragh and I’d say it was a very good renewal.

“It was another very good run from her and we think we might just drop back in trip with her now.

“She travelled very well the other day and moved upsides, but she just hasn’t quite seen it out over the mile.

“She was very good over seven furlongs last year and won a Group Three over six, so she has plenty of speed.

“I also think the faster ground probably doesn’t suit as well as when it’s soft.

“We might look at a race like the Prix Maurice de Gheest now. That’s six and a half furlongs and you’d imagine you might get a bit of ease in the ground, so that could suit her well.”

Treve has been undergoing tests since her return to France following her shock defeat in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Last year’s brilliant Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner could only finish third behind The Fugue on Wednesday, having lost her unbeaten record at the hands of Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix Ganay on her seasonal debut.

Treve appeared not to move well to post in the hands of Frankie Dettori and looked ill at ease during the race, though she did stay on at the end of the mile-and-a-quarter Group One to take minor honours.

“She’s been for a scan and we have to wait for the results now,” said trainer Criquette Head-Maarek.

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