Frost scuppers Newbury gallop

Oliver Sherwood is weighing up his options for Puffin Billy after a planned racecourse gallop at Newbury this morning was cancelled due to frost.

Unbeaten in his first four career starts, Puffin Billy suffered defeat for the first time at the hands of Melodic Rendezvous at Exeter last month, after which Sherwood discovered his charge was suffering from a foot problem.

The five-year-old holds entries in both the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Neptune at Cheltenham, with the latter seemingly his most likely target should the current drying conditions persist.

Sherwood said: “He didn’t go to Newbury as the gallop was cancelled because of frost. Newbury actually made the decision, so it was out of our hands. I don’t know what we’ll do now. We’ll have a think about things.”

Nicky Henderson also planned on taking a team of Cheltenham-bound horses to Newbury, including red-hot Arkle favourite Simonsig and Champion Hurdle contender Grandouet.

The squad could now head to Newbury on Monday morning, should conditions be suitable.

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