Monday 19 March 2018

Mick Winters to rest Rebel Fitz for two months after disappointing run

Ashley Iveson

TRAINER Mick Winters plans to give stable star Rebel Fitz a two-month break following his slightly disappointing display at Tipperary on Sunday.

The Galway Hurdle hero was bidding for his fifth straight victory in the Grade Two Friends of Tipperary Hurdle, but finished a distant second behind Captain Cee Bee.

Winters feels a busy summer may have caught up with Rebel Fitz and hopes some time in the field will help his charge rediscover his best form.

While a novice chasing campaign had been discussed, the seven-year-old will remain over hurdles this season.

"I was pleased to see he was well in himself this morning and the plan now is to put a blanket on him and give him a couple of months out," the Cork handler said on Monday.

"He's been on the go all summer and maybe it has bottomed him a little bit.

"Our lad will have a nice break. I spoke to the owner last night and we've decided to stay hurdling for now.

"There are maybe a few small reasons why he didn't run up to his best and Davy (Russell, jockey) said he just ran out of petrol on the ground.

"But he's grand in himself and we'll bring him back after Christmas.

"I think he'll make a very nice two-mile chaser, but we'll probably wait until the next season starts in May to do that now.

"We might bring him back over two and a half miles over hurdles and he might end up at Aintree in the two-and-a-half-miler there."

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