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Puffin Billy on track for 2013 Cheltenham Festival after sparkling workout

Jon Wilde in Wed. 15th March 5 Mar 2013
Puffin Billy goes for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

Puffin Billy is back on track for the 2013 Cheltenham Festival after delighting his trainer Oliver Sherwood in a workout at home.

The highly promising five-year-old will go for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle on Wednesday March 13.

Unbeaten in his first four starts, all of which he won easily, Puffin Billy was then beaten by Melodic Rendezvous at Exeter but was subsequently found to have pus in a foot.

He has now recovered from that problem and Lambourn handler Sherwood was keen to get some work into him before giving the green light for Cheltenham.

A planned gallop at Newbury on Sunday was cancelled because of frost, but Puffin Billy’s exercise on Tuesday morning has convinced connections to go for glory.

“I didn't take him anywhere in the end after it was frozen off on Sunday,” said Sherwood. “We just brought him home - it wasn't a fitness issue with him going to Newbury, we just wanted to take him out.

“He worked super this morning. I was absolutely delighted with him. It's all systems go for the Neptune now.”

Barely off the bridle in any of his first four starts, Puffin Billy did not see a racecourse until March 2012 when he won a Fontwell bumper by 17 lengths and followed up in a similar event at Ascot in November.

He then made a winning debut over jumps at Newbury and trotted up in the Grade 2 Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle at Ascot before his initially deflating Exeter reverse.


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Puffin Billy on track for 2013 Cheltenham Festival after sparkling workout

Puffin Billy is back on track for the 2013 Cheltenham Festival after delighting his trainer Oliver Sherwood in a workout at home.

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