Rebel Fitz primed for big effort in Grade Two feature at Tipperary

Michael Winters-trained star aiming to put the record straight in Istabraq Hurdle

Barry Geraghty: rides Arzembouy Premier at Sligo today and will partner Rebel Fitz at Tipperary on Sunday. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

Barry Geraghty: rides Arzembouy Premier at Sligo today and will partner Rebel Fitz at Tipperary on Sunday. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

 

Barry Geraghty appears set to resume his partnership with the hugely popular Rebel Fitz at Tipperary this Sunday where the Michael Winters -trained star will attempt to put the record straight in the Grade Two feature.

In 2012 Rebel Fitz arrived at the €52,500 Istabraq Hurdle on a streak of four wins, including a memorable Galway Hurdle success, but wound up beaten by Captain Cee Bee at odds-on.

Since then he has graduated to Grade One glory over fences and looked as good as ever when returning to action at Listowel recently with a resounding success in an amateur flat race.

“He only had a saddle on his back for three weeks before Listowel. The way he won, you wouldn’t have thought that he would have improved a huge amount, but the big thing with him since Listowel is that he has been 100 per cent sound,” said Winters.

The prospect of quick ground has ruled out the veteran Captain Cee Bee and just eight others have been left in the ‘Istabraq’ including the impressive Lartigue winner Orgilgo Bay who is officially rated over a stone inferior to Rebel Fitz.

The National Hunt game is upped another notch on Sunday with a pair of Grade Three novice events including the Like-A-Butterfly Novice Chase _ won last year by Rebel Fitz – which this time could see Alelchi Inois, unbeaten in four over fences already, lead a strong Willie Mullins team.

A total of 23 remain in the Group Three Coolmore Concorde Stakes on Sunday with Eddie Lynam keeping open the option of running Viztoria, although the Group One Prix de la Foret is also in the Co. Meath trainer’s thoughts for his talented filly.

Narrowly beaten

Dermot Weld

Barry Geraghty travels to Sligo today solely to ride Arzembouy Premier on a seven-race steeplechase card which has attracted just 47 runners in total. Arzembouy Premier is one of only four in a €13,250 conditions chase and as the only four year old in the race he looks the one to beat in receipt of weight.

Nearest The Pin, an easy winner at Worcester last Friday, has top-weight in an earlier handicap chase and conditions look suitable for Cavite Beta to make his first handicap start a winning one after scoring at Killarney last time. Elsie, a runner-up at Killarney last time out, can edge She’s a Leader in the mares’ chase.

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