Cruise forRebel Fitz on flat debut

THE talented and versatile Rebel Fitz cruised to victory in the Clonmel Hospice Support Group Maiden at Clonmel last night.

This was his first outing on the flat and he gave Seamus Heffernan an armchair ride to beat He’llberemembered by five lengths.

The seven-year-old, whose future lies over fences, already had two wins in bumpers and three over flights to his credit.

Heffernan had him tracking the pace, until asking Rebel Fitz to lead with three furlongs to run.

The imposing gelding bounded up the straight and Heffernan had to be in no way hard on him to score with plenty in hand.

Trainer Michael Winters said: “It was the ideal race, there were no stalls and I didn’t want the horse to have that hassle.

“He will go over fences in the next couple of weeks and will run through the summer, as long as there is a little ease in the ground.

“Mikey O’Connor schooled him before he ran in a bumper and he jumped six fences for Adrian Maguire at Dromahane. He’s a great jumper.”

Another exceptionally versatile sort, Headford Flyer, also got off the mark on the flat when taking the SEPAM Tipperary Perpetual Cup.

He previously won a point-to-point, a bumper, hurdle and chase and is trained near Cork racecourse by Eoghan O’Grady.

Scots Gaelic kicked for home a long way out and turned in with a clear advantage. But his exertions soon took their toll and Headford Flyer forged past inside the furlong pole to beat Beau Michael by three parts of a length.

Commented O’Grady: “He’s in a novice chase at Killarney on Tuesday, so we will see how he is. The plan is to go for the two mile amateur handicap at Galway.”

Shane Gray, who rode Scots Gaelic, was found guilty of using his whip with excessive frequency and suspended for seven days.

It was the usual jamboree in the winner’s enclosure after Oliver Brady’s One Cool Shabra spreadeagled the opposition in the first division of the Clonmel Hospice Support Group Handicap.

This tough customer, who has been on the go for a long time, made every yard of the running for Sam James, shrugging off the challenging Farandooney in the straight.

Many of the crowd then gathered to greet the colourful Brady, who informed them: “I told Sam two years ago I wouldn’t give him a ride until it was a winner.”

The second section of the same contest saw well-backed favourite, Enter The Indian, just fail to get to get to grips with 10-1 shot, Ionisphere.

Enter The Indian was closing down the winner all the way to the line, but Wayne Lordan kept Willie McCreery’s charge going long enough to score by a short head.

Said McCreery: “I didn’t know if he’d get two miles. He’s been making the running and I just told Wayne to drop in and let him enjoy himself.”

The John Long-trained Baresi landed a real old-fashioned gamble in the two and a half mile handicap hurdle.

Taken as high as 25-1 in the morning and from 9-1 to 4-1 favourite on track, Baresi kept finding for Rob Jones to beat Credit Box by a neck.

Long, however, indicated that the source of the touch was a mystery to him. “I only had a score each-way on the Tote”, he exclaimed.

Glamorous, having a first outing since Navan in December, stripped fit and well to land the Clonmel Hospice Support Group Maiden Hurdle.

Partnered by Robert Power, the in-foal daughter of Red Ransom got the best of the battle with promising newcomer, Regal One, after that horse had got it wrong at the final flight.

Willie Mullins’ newcomer Mr Groocock was easy to back in the Bumper, but knew nothing about his travels in the market and won doing handstands.

Patrick Mullins eased him ahead at the furlong pole to beat Crocus Bay by eight and a half lengths.

Said Mullins: “He did more there than he has ever shown at home. He’s a summer horse and is likely to go jumping now.”


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