Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Galway Hurdle Hero Fitz the Bill at Cheltenham

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Galway Hurdle Hero Fitz the Bill at Cheltenham

Article excerpt

THE return of Cheltenham is always a welcoming sight, with Rebel Fitz taken to be the star turn at the first meeting of the season.

Last year's Galway Hurdle hero suffered a shock reverse on fencing bow at Killarney in mid-May, but has righted that wrong by wracking up five subsequent victories, looking more impressive on each occasion.

He makes his first appearance in Britain in the Cheltenham Annual Members Novices' Chase and although he faces only two rivals, Taquin De Seuil and Third Intention are both talented opponents and Rebel Fitz has to give them weight.

That said, Mick Winters' charge is clearly in great heart at present and victory here will give connections serious belief that he could be a major player at the Festival next March.

Cross Kennon seemed on good terms with himself in a first-time visor at Haydock back in May and ought to be a threat in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle. The nineyear-old often goes well in the Cotswolds, while he is at the right mark to trouble the judge at this grade.

A return to his beloved Redcar can help Broctune Papa Gio turn his fortunes around and get back on the winning trail in the Download The Free Racing UK App Handicap.

Although conditions might not be quite ideal for the Keith Reveleytrained six-year-old, he remains reasonably weighted to warrant more than a cursory glance here.

The gelded son of Tobougg is now just 2lb higher than when he was last victorious at Redcar last September, when he pulled nearly two lengths clear of Thrust Control.

But one victory over hurdles aside, Broctune Papa Gio has subsequently struggled.

There was, however, plenty to take from his most recent outing at this track in what was a far better race than this.

Reveley's inmate showed plenty of his customary dash to take fifth spot in the final of the straight mile championship, beaten just over three lengths by Ingleby Angel. …

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