Michael Winters is set to run Rebel Fitz nearer home and bypass the Cheltenham Festival.

The County Cork trainer plans to give his Galway Hurdle winner a run at his local track in Mallow later this month before sending him to the Punchestown Festival.

In doing so, Winters has all but ruled out a crack at the Stan James Champion Hurdle.

Rebel Fitz, who has not run since October, warmed up for a return to action with a racecourse gallop after racing at Thurles on Thursday.

He was partnered by champion jockey Davy Russell in a three-quarter speed workout over a mile and three-quarters.

Rebel Fitz was accompanied by stablemate Missunited. The mare was ridden by Bryan Cooper.

"We were pleased with them. They did a nice piece of work," said Winters.

"Rebel Fitz will run in a Grade Two hurdle over two miles at Cork at the end of March. He's a better horse going right-handed.

"Rebel Fitz won't be going to Cheltenham unless something changes. He'll run in Mallow and then on to Punchestown. He might a be a fresher horse come then after his break.

"Missunited will go for a Grade Three hurdle in Limerick on 24 March.

"She had her run at Gowran the other day and she's working away since."