Rebel Fitz the Bill for Guinness Kerry National
Rebel Fitz heads the weights for next week’s Guinness Kerry National, the feature event of the seven-day Listowel Harvest Festival.
The 10-year-old is trained by Michael Winters and he reports the son of Agent Bleu to be in great shape after a fine comeback effort at Galway last month.
“He is in great form and has come out of Galway spectacularly well. If I said that we had left something to work on going to Galway, I’d be only praising myself, but he hadn’t been out much over the summer and we were minding him,” said Winters.
“His coat has turned inside out and the race at Galway was like a practice match for him and his mind is great. We are very happy where we are with him now. He’ll have top weight and it won’t be easy to give weight away, but we’d be hoping that he’ll get into the money,” he added.
With Davy Russell out injured, Winters has yet to confirm riding arrangements but he said, “Out of courtesy to Barry Geraghty, he’ll be offered the ride again, but I’d say he’ll have to ride for his boss, JP McManus. There are loads of top-class riders around that we can choose from and he is a straightforward horse to ride.”
Rebel Fitz is one of 42 horses that have been entered for this year’s race and Paul Nicholls could be represented by Valco De Touzaine, a three-time winner and the six-year-old posted a fine effort last month at Newton Abbot, when runner-up to Standing Ovation.
Willie Mullins has pencilled in no fewer than seven horses for next week’s showpiece, while last year’s first and second, Your Busy and Pass The Hat, will represent James Nash and Arthur Moore respectively.
Nash said, “All my horses are in great form and I just hope he gets in – it might be tight. He worked great last Friday and I know he is twelve, but he works like a six-year-old. Going into the race last year, his form was a bit in and out, but he has had a much better season this year and Katie Walsh will ride him again. He loves a bit of nice ground and with the way weather is at the minute, he might get that next week.”
Rule The World, who slipped up when in with every chance in the thetote.com Galway Plate, could be one of four runners for Mouse Morris, who has also entered Ravished, Horendus Hulabaloo and Rogue Angel.
“I’ll run whatever I can get in. None of them are too ground dependant and they all seem to be in good form,” reported Morris.
Noel O’Brien, Senior National Hunt Handicapper, said: “This year’s entries for the Guinness Kerry National will make for a competitive renewal of this very strong handicap. Top weight at a racing rate of 153, Rebel Fitz is a hugely consistent chaser and with plenty of high-class handicappers sprinkled through the field, should make for another great race.”
John McGuire, Chairman of Listowel Racecourse said: “With less than a week to go to the start of our festival, the track is in tip-top shape and there is a great buzz around Kerry. We are delighted with the quality of entries for the Guinness Kerry National which marks the start of the National Hunt season proper.
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