Monday 23 April 2018

Rebel Fitz can prove class for Winters and Heffernan

Seamie Heffernan can partner Rebel Fitz to victory at Clonmel this evening.
Seamie Heffernan can partner Rebel Fitz to victory at Clonmel this evening.
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Rebel Fitz, a really smart novice hurdler for Kanturk-based Mick Winters last term, is the star attraction on tonight's mixed card at Clonmel.

Following a lucrative campaign that saw the French-bred score three wins and a couple of place finishes in Graded company, he makes his Flat debut in the opening Clonmel Hospice Support Group Maiden over two miles at the Tipperary venue.

As a dual bumper winner and with the ground on the soft side, he should take a bit of beating under Seamie Heffernan.

Fellow useful hurdlers Won In The Dark, Double Double, Boland's Corner and Jacksonslady are among the selection's potential dangers, as is Kevin Prendergast's Emotional Dream. Placed five times in six career starts on the level, Declan McDonogh's mount is certainly consistent, and this step up to an extreme distance could bring about further improvement.

In the featured Sepam Tipperary Perpetual Cup, Galianna is fancied to record successive victories for Pat Flynn and Fran Berry.

Another two-miler with a winner's purse of €9,660 that Flynn has farmed four times in five renewals, this 13-runner heat is fairly open-looking, but Galianna has been given a live chance by the handicapper.

When she last turned out on the Flat, the Galileo mare was beaten only a couple of lengths off a mark of 84 in a valuable race at Leopardstown in September 2010. She has been dropped to 78 now, which is particularly attractive given that a first and third on her two most recent starts over flights suggest that she is on good terms with herself.

The well-treated Coldwinters, successful at Kilbeggan on Friday for Gillian O'Callaghan and Davy Condon, can follow up under a six-pound penalty in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle, while Edward O'Grady could secure a brace courtesy of Tugboat and Crocus Bay.

In the maiden hurdle, Barry Geraghty takes the reins on Tugboat, a Navan Flat winner for John Oxx in the autumn, with Stephen Byrne on Crocus Bay in the bumper.

Although Willie Mullins' unraced Mr Groocock is an unknown quantity in that, Crocus Bay has been a mite unlucky to finish second three times in a row, and appeals as nap material.

Irish Independent

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