Rebel Fitz justified the strong support when running out a comfortable winner on his Flat debut in the opening two-mile maiden at Clonmel last night.
Seamus Heffernan's 6/4 favourite was never in trouble and the French-bred smart hurdler proved a class above as he hit the front with half a mile to go. The Kanturk-based Michael Winters-trained gelding pulled away from the field two furlongs out to finish an easy five-lengths clear of He'llberemembered, ridden by Joseph O'Brien. The Champion apprentice had flown into Cork airport from Chester, arriving by car half an hour before the first race.
Headford Flyer produced a perfectly timed run under Kevin Manning to claim the featured Sepam Tipperary Perpetual Cup. Scots Gaelic looked to have the two-miler -- with a winner's purse of €9,660 -- in control when kicking leaving the back straight but was collared at the furlong pole by Headford Flyer.
Eoghan O'Grady's charge stuck on well in the closing stages as 5/1 favourite Beau Michael finished well to take the second spot, three-parts-of-a-length back.
Headford flyer had been well-backed, from 9/1 in morning into 11/2 at the start.
"He's in on Tuesday at Killarney in the novice chase and we'll see how he comes out of this," said O'Grady. "We may go to Galway for the two-mile amateur handicap."
Baresi landed a gamble in the two-and-a-half mile handicap hurdle. The winner had attracted support at 25/1 and the plunge really took hold on course as he was punted from 9/1 into 4/1 favourite.
Rob Jones hit the front at the third last but he looked in trouble as Credit Box headed him going to the penultimate flight. John Long's charge knuckled down to his task well and fought his way back to lead on the run-in and record a gutsy neck victory.
Glamorous (4/1) put her jumping experience to good use when claiming the maiden hurdle. There were plenty in with a shout turning for home in the two-mile contest and three jumped the second last upsides.
The trio were locked together going to the last and Regal One jumped it upsides the eventual winner with Tugboat just behind in third. Regal One got it wrong at the final flight and that handed the advantage to Jessica Harrington's charge to score by a length and a quarter.