/ Racing

Rebel Fitz routs rivals at Killarney

Updated: Tuesday, 16 Jul 2013 20:57 | Comments

Rebel Fitz has won 11 of his 20 lifetime starts
Rebel Fitz has won 11 of his 20 lifetime starts

Last year's Galway Hurdle hero Rebel Fitz continued his education over fences with a facile victory in the Christy McSweeney Memorial Novice Chase at Killarney.

Michael Winters' eight-year-old (9-10 fav) put in a good round of jumping and took the last three fences in his stride to coast in by 15 lengths in the hands of Barry Geraghty.

He looks to be heading to Galway again, where the Plate is an option.

What would have happened had his main market rival Beachdale Lad stood up will never be known, but unfortunately the long-time leader fell four out when going strongly, suffering a fatal injury in the process.

Champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins recorded a one-two in a thrilling finish to the Killarney Veterinary Clinic Race, which was won by the unbeaten Digeanta (6-1).

Stablemate Midnight Oil (evens favourite) and Marchese Marconi were going at it hammer and tongs through the final furlong, but Mikey Fogarty clawed them back inch by inch and nailed them on the line to win by a nose and a head.

The Ross Golf Course Race looked a tight contest on paper, but the Jessie Harrington-trained Royal Blue Star (9-2), who is in foal to Dream Ahead, made full use of her weight allowance as she put the opposition to the sword.

Without a win in 13 contests since landing a summer double in 2011, the five-year-old had plenty to do entering the closing stages, but she flew down the outside under Connor King to win by two lengths.

Tony Martin's well-backed Dark Crusader (6-1) stepped up markedly in trip for the Easy Clean Handicap and relished it, travelling sweetly for Fran Berry before quickening clear to score by three and three-quarter lengths.

With favourite Il Palazzo refusing to enter the stalls, Dermot Weld's filly Cocktail Hour (11-4) made the most of her chance to break her duck convincingly in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden under Pat Smullen, winning by a length and a half.

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