Greatwood Hurdle winner Nietzsche has had a wind operation after disappointing at Ascot last month.
Brian Ellison now has his sights set on the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock in the spring for the six-year-old, who beat Silver Streak in the valuable Cheltenham event in November.
He wore a tongue tie that day, but on softer ground Ellison believes his breathing was found out.
“He had his wind done on Tuesday,” said the Malton trainer.
“He probably prefers better ground – the softer ground might have found him out at Ascot.
“We sent him to have his wind tightened. He wore a tongue tie at Cheltenham, and that seemed to work, but the soft ground didn’t help last time.
“We did an overground scope and couldn’t find anything, but when we actually got in there it did need tightening up – so he had it done.
“He’ll probably have a spin on the Flat and then more than likely go for the Swinton.”