Pair provide stern test
for classy Rebel Fitz
LAST YEAR'S Galway Hurdle hero Rebel Fitz has had it easy over fences, but that is likely to change in the Deacy Gilligan Novice Chase back at the same course, according to trainer Mick Winters.
The eight-year-old has won three of his four chase outings and been odds-on favourite for all those runs, but he now carries two winners' penalties as he takes on recent Killarney scorers Saint Gervais and Shadow Eile.
The 7lb he carries for those victories means he has to give fellow course winners Saint Gervais 6lb and Shadow Eile 13lb.
Winters said: "Rebel Fitz is in great form. He is healthy and well in himself and has loads of experience, but he has had it easy up to now and this is a good field of solid horses. Shadow Eile is a good mare, who we know well as she has met with Missunited a few times, and Saint Gervais did it well at Killarney. It's competitive but mine is very well."
Shadow Eile was ninth in last month's Galway Hurdle behind Rebel Fitz's stablemate Missunited and won her first chase by seven lengths four weeks later.
Trainer Dot Love said yesterday: "She has a lovely light weight. Her owner walked the course today and it looks like it should suit her.
"There is a good covering of grass and it has been well looked after so we're looking forward to a big run."
And she added: "Rebel Fitz is a Galway specialist but we do carry almost a stone less."
The novice hurdle won last season by Missunited is staged earlier on the card and this year's race features another talented mare in Que Pasa, the mount of Barry Geraghty.
Trainer Harry Kelly was yesterday hopeful of a good run, but wary of likely favourite Indevan and fellow dual hurdle winners Giant's Quest and The Black Russian.
He said: "There are a couple in it who look really decent but hopefully she can run a big race. She's in good form and, although she's fairly versatile with regards to ground, she is probably better on better going."
Willie Mullins saddles Indevan and he said: "He won on an undulating track at Sligo and I think he'll handle the ground as he has won on good."
Galway good to firm, good places (hurdle) and good, good to firm places (chase)
Leicester good to firm good in places
Beverley good to firm
Today's key pointer
Richard Fahey and Ryan Moore are 6-14 when joining forces since 2010 for a £1 level-stake profit of £17.50. They team up with Tatlisu (2.50 Leicester)
Bondi Beach Boy has form figures of 1111 at Beverley and 4111313111 over 5f. His appeal is obvious there in the 5.40
The sire Dansili has a 25 per cent strike-rate with his two-year-olds at Leicester in the past five seasons. Dorset Cream represents him in the 4.20
Roger Varian is in hot form right now, but it might be worth remembering that his record at Beverley is 0-9, so be wary of his Kohlaan in the 6.10
Pointer courtesy of Raceform Interactive