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Wednesday 18 October 2017

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The hugely popular and highly talented Rebel Fitz heads tomorrow's mixed Tipperary card with six going to post for the Grade Two Istabraq Hurdle.

Mick Winters' stable star is at least a stone clear of his nearest rival on ratings and his biggest danger probably comes from the four-year-old's Plinth and Orgilgo Bay with the latter looking the most progressive and likely to follow him home but this should prove a suitable opportunity for Rebel Fitz to get a win on the board ahead of an assault on some of the calendars bigger chasing races later on in the season.

Sunday also marks the return to race riding of Ruby Walsh who has been absent since June 8th after undergoing a shoulder operation and although not due back until early next week, Walsh is making a slightly earlier than expected return to ride Willie Mullins' Indevan in the Grade Three Like-A-Butterfly Novice Chase and that must speak volumes about the six-year-olds chances.

Tipperary also stages the Dolores Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle and it will be very interesting to see how the Tony Martin trained Cillian's Return fares out on this assignment.

An impressive bumper winner before being purchased by JP McManus, the five-year-old does lack a bit of experience compared to others over hurdles and his jumping would have to be sharper than when making a winning debut but he clearly has quite an engine and will be worth a second look.

The top flat honours will go to the winner of the Group Three Coolmore Stud Home Of Champions Concorde Stakes and this could prove an ideal race for Brendan Brackan to return to winning ways for Ger Lyons.

The five-year-year-old can be forgiven for his last run behind Dermot Weld's Free Eagle on Champions Weekend and should have enough in reserve to hold Weld's Big Break who opposes tomorrow afternoon although it's interesting to see Lyons' stable jockey Colin Keane booked to ride the stables other runner Some Spirit.

Sheila Lavery has enjoyed a good season from a small string and she could claim the seven-furlong handicap on the card with the Mick Hussey ridden Gone Viral who will have to defy a nine-pound hike from the handicapper for his Gowran win.

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