The last time Tarla ran over hurdles she won a Grade 3 by 12l on heavy ground at Punchestown. She reverts to timber after falling on her two latest starts over fences and must go close but she hasn't faced anything of REBEL FITZ's class so far and may have to play second fiddle. Davy Russell returns for just the one ride today and his mount, who won the Galway Hurdle in August, has the class to concede weight all round. Oilily won this last year when Won In The Dark was third but hasn't been seen since July and though Rathlin scored on his return to hurdling last month he's much better known as a chaser these days.
Rebel Fitz (FR) 4-6fav (11-7) Settled behind leaders, 5th halfway, jumped up into 2nd 4 out, led entering straight, challenged 2 out, ridden and headed before last, soon no extra, kept on one pace, 2nd of 9, 11l behind Captain Cee Bee (11-7) at Tipperary 2m hdl G2 (1) hvy in Oct.
Won In The Dark (IRE) 20-1 (11-5) Chased leaders in mid-division, 7th halfway, no impression in 9th 2 out, kept on one pace in straight without threatening, 5th of 14, 18l behind Fosters Cross (11-0) at Leopardstown 2m 2f hdl sft.
Tarla (FR) 4-9fav (11-3) Disputed lead at strong pace until headed before 1st, led again 4th, headed approaching straight and dropped to 4th when fell 2 out, in a race won by Noras Fancy (11-0) at Thurles 2m 4f Mares Novice Chase (Grade 2) (5yo+) (1) hvy in Jan, 8 ran.
Kilcrea (IRE) 12-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, 4th 4 out, ridden approaching straight and no extra from 2 out, last of 5, 21l behind Ballycasey (11-5) at Thurles 2m 6f nov hdl hvy in Jan.
Mr Cracker (IRE) 16-1 (11-8) Led, joined 7th, headed before 6 out, quickly weakened, pulled up next, in a race won by Court By Surprise (10-10) at Doncaster 3m hcp chs 0-150 (2) gs in Dec, 16 ran.
Rathlin 12-1 (11-10) Rear of mid-division, mistake 5th, some progress from 3 out, moderate 11th and ridden 2 out, kept on, 7th of 19, 10l behind Dressedtothenines (11-7) at Naas 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-140 sft.
Oilily (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Soon prominent, dropped to 5th 2 out, stayed on well under pressure without threatening run-in, 4th of 18, 1 3/4l behind Satu (9-9) at Killarney 2m 1f hcp hdl gd in May.