/ Racing

Rebel Fitz set to swerve Cheltenham Festival

Updated: Friday, 01 Mar 2013 20:18 | Comments

Rebel Fitz is being aimed at the Punchestown Festival
Rebel Fitz is being aimed at the Punchestown Festival

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."

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