Rebel Fitz continues winters' reign at Galway
GALWAY must surely be Michael Winters' favourite racecourse after Rebel Fitz added to his Ballybrit haul with an easy victory in the Deacy Gilligan Novice Chase.
The eight-year-old, which won last year's Galway Hurdle, followed up Monday's feature success of stablemate Missunited by recording his fourth win over the larger obstacles.
The 4/9 favourite's jumping was efficient throughout, and Barry Geraghty had little to do as the pair cruised over eight lengths clear of Saint Gervais.
"Barry said he's some leaper. He asked him over the final four fences to ensure he wouldn't get outpaced," said Winters.
"He might want further and may be more of a stayer and there is a possibility he might be slightly better going right-handed. Having said that, the plan is to go to Cheltenham in October or November."
Willie Mullins already houses star mares such as Quevega and Annie Power, and could have another top-notch filly on his hands in Vicky De L'Oasis, judging by her Irish bow in the opening maiden hurdle. The 11/8 favourite travelled strongly under Ruby Walsh to score by nine lengths. "She came with a nice reputation from France last November, but disappointed when we brought her home," explained the champion trainer.
"We decided to put her away and she's been far better since. She looks alright now in her home work... Her form is on soft ground in France, but she has been showing us plenty on faster ground."
Walsh immediately doubled up on Rossvoss in the maiden hurdle for his father Ted, but was denied a treble as the Geraghty-ridden Que Pasa beat Indevan in the Novice Hurdle.