Oliver Sherwood in no rush to make plans for Rayvin Black

Rayvin Black is unlikely to be in action at next month’s Cheltenham Festival following his tremendous all-the-way victory in Saturday’s Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton.

Oliver Sherwood has kept his seven-year-old busy since opening his account for the campaign at Sandown in early January, but it has paid off handsomely.

After chasing home The New One at Haydock before being touched off in the Contenders Hurdle back at Sandown, Rayvin Black secured the most lucrative success of his career in the Somerset mud and Sherwood would be happy to put him away for the remainder of the campaign.

It was a day of contrasting fortunes for the Upper Lambourn-based trainer, with stable stalwart Deputy Dan losing his life after collapsing at Haydock earlier in the afternoon.

Sherwood said: “It was very sad to lose ‘Dan’, but I’ve been in this game long enough to know you’ve just got to move on as quickly as you can and it shows what a funny game it is that an hour later we were winning the Kingwell.

“I was chuffed to bits for the horse and his owners. He loves that ground, which is strange with him being an ex-Flat horse by Halling. He’s just incredibly tough.

“He couldn’t do any more than he did and what we’ll do with him now, I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind if he doesn’t run again this season, as he’s paid for his training fees for a couple of years and we know the ground is important to him.

“I don’t think he’ll be going to Cheltenham as it’s not his track and he’d be unlikely to get his ground.

I’ll have a chat with the owners about it and see what they want to do, but he won’t be supplemented for the Champion

Hurdle, anyway!

“He’s had four or five quick runs now, but he is a horse who takes his racing well as even though he does it from the front, he doesn’t over-exert himself.”

Asked whether he would ever consider sending his charge over fences, the trainer added: “One or two people have mentioned it, but he’s not the biggest, so I’m not sure.

If he is going to go chasing he’ll have to do it sooner rather than later. We might pop him over a fence at some stage and see how he handles it.”


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