Winters mulls rebel options

The Hilly Way Chase at Cork and the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase are under consideration for Mick Winters’ stable star Rebel Fitz.

The nine-year-old tasted success at the highest level in the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse in the spring and has returned in fine form this autumn, winning on the Flat at Listowel before he was triumphant in the Istabraq Hurdle at Tipperary.

While Winters remains keen on a potentially mouthwatering Christmas clash with Sizing Europe at Leopardstown, he is keen to give his charge more match practice beforehand, with a trip to Cork on December 7 currently the favoured option.

“He’s in good order and we’ll see what the weather is doing in the next couple of weeks,” said Winters.

“We might look at the Grade Two race in Mallow (Cork, Hilly Way Chase). It’s only two miles, which might be on the short side, but it’s right on our doorstep.

“The other option is to go for the John Durkan in Punchestown, which is on the same day.

“He’ll probably get an entry in that, but we might just stay close to home and go to Cork.

“He came to himself in the spring last year, so we might just take things a little bit easier with him at this stage of the season.

“We’re happy with him at home, so hopefully he’ll be out again in a few weeks so long as the ground is not fierce heavy.”

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