Rebel Fitz in good order for 'special' chase clash
THEY have been successful in bumpers, over hurdles and on the Flat and now Rebel Fitz and Steps To Freedom are set to make their debuts over fences in the 2m1f beginners' chase (5.15) that promises an intriguing clash on the final day of Killarney's May meeting.
Michael Winters, trainer of Rebel Fitz, winner of last year's Guinness Galway Hurdle, summed it up well when describing this opener as "a special beginners' chase for this time of year" and he reported six-time hurdles winner Rebel Fitz, the mount of Barry Geraghty, in rude health for the test.
He said: "Our horse is in good order and has been doing everything right at home. He's matured and is more relaxed than he used to be.
"We've been planning for some time to go chasing with him and we're ready to face the music."
Soft ground will not be ideal for Rebel Fitz or Steps To Freedom but neither Winters nor rival trainer Jessica Harrington were unduly concerned about conditions yesterday, although both were hoping conditions would not turn into a bog.
Harrington said: "Steps To Freedom is in great form and his schooling has been very good. I don't mind the ground being on the easy side for him but I wouldn't want it to change and become very testing. Being the first race on the card will be a help."
Last seen when finishing fifth in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot 13 days ago, Steps To Freedom, the mount of Robbie Power, has eight wins to his credit compared to nine for Rebel Fitz as they tackle 11 rivals including Darwins Fox, who has finished second on three of his four attempts over fences, most recently behind Turban over 2m at Cork last month.
Killarney soft (chase course) heavy (Flat)
Beverley good to firm
Chepstow good to soft
Wincanton good to firm, good in places