Horses To Follow » Rebel Fitz

Rebel Fitz

Rebel Fitz ran a cracker from the front in the Grade 2 two-and-a-half-mile Monksfield Novice Hurdle at Navan on Sunday, just getting run down by the highly talented Mount Benbulben on the run-in. He jumped well under Ruby Walsh out in front, although he did get in too tight to the fifth flight, the first flight on the final circuit. He jumped well down the back straight though, and travelled enthusiastically, seemingly enjoying himself out in front. Walsh slowed the pace around the home turn letting the field close up before kicking on again into the home straight and immediately appearing to have everything else in trouble. He jumped the three flights up the home straight really fluently and looked to have the race won, trading at 1.11 in-running, but Mount Benbulben had chased him all the way and Rebel Fitz just couldn’t hold off the sustained challenge of Gordon Elliott’s gelding from after the last.

Rebel Fitz had been out in front the whole way and deserves credit for going as close as he did, especially as he was giving 3lb to everything else in the race. Mount Benbulben had beaten the talented but ill-fated Lovethehigherlaw by eight lengths in a Limerick bumper in March (and that horse had gone on to win the Champion Bumper at Punchestown on his next, and sadly last, start) and Mount Benbulben and Rebel Fitz finished clear here of some very useful and well-fancied rivals.

Rebel Fitz is trained by Michael Winters, a highly capable trainer but not a household name, and he may continue to be under-rated as a result on the back of this run. Mount Benbulben is by far the higher profile horse of the pair. However, while he saw the trip out well, Rebel Fitz has been running over two miles and two and a quarter miles, and he may be more effective over shorter. The son of Agent Bleu did jump a little out to his right most of the way round, and he may be even better back on a right-handed track. He could be under-rated wherever he goes next, and he remains interesting.

27th November 2011