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Sunday 11 December 2016

Rebel Fitz may feature at Listowel after encouraging return in Galway, reveals trainer Mick Winters

Rebel Fitz
Rebel Fitz

Mick Winters will consider options under both codes for Rebel Fitz following his encouraging return to action at Galway on Sunday.

The 2012 Galway Hurdle hero was a hot favourite to clinch his fifth victory at Ballybrit, despite having been off the track since last October.

He looked set to win convincingly after jumping his way to the front at the second last, but began to falter on the run-in and was caught by the rallying Cailin Annamh.

Winters is confident his stable star will strip fitter for the run and his next possible port of call is next month’s Listowel Festival.

Winters said: “Going two miles and six (furlongs) first time out wasn’t going to be easy and he jumped super and took himself to the front. If we hadn’t pushed the button as early, maybe he would have held on, but that’s racing and he’s got the run under his belt now. He should improve for it and we’ll see where we go now.

“There’s the Flat race in Listowel (Slan Abhaile), he’s qualified for that and there’s no stalls, so that might suit. We might even look at the Kerry National. There’s the Cesarewitch as well, so there are a few options and we’ll see which way we go nearer the time.”

John Joseph Murphy is looking forward to seeing Hot Sauce test her powers over a longer distance in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Give Thanks Stakes at Cork this evening.

The three-year-old failed to land a telling blow in the nine-furlong Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh last month, but Murphy expects the step up to a mile and a half to play to his filly’s strengths.

The Upton-based trainer said: “The form is there and we’re looking forward to running her again.”

Hot Sauce is one of eight declared for the Group Three contest, with Aidan O’Brien running Cocoon, Easter and On A Pedestal.

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