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Puffin Billy

Puffin Billy (red and white): heads to Exeter en route to the festival

  PICTURE: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images  

Change of plan for unbeaten Puffin Billy

OLIVER SHERWOOD has had a change of heart regarding Cheltenham Festival plans for his unbeaten novice hurdler Puffin Billy.

Having previously said he was leaning towards the 2m5f Neptune Investment Novices' Hurdle for Tim Syder's five-year-old, Sherwood has had a rethink and is now favouring the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle over a four and a half furlong shorter trip.

"The entries close tomorrow for the novice events and he will get entries in both races. My gut feeling at the moment, with the ground the way it is, is that he will almost certainly go for the two-miler [Supreme] on soft or heavier ground," Sherwood told At The Races on Monday.

He added: "If it's drier than that I might switch to the Neptune but my gut feeling is two miles at the moment if the ground stays as it is."

Testing ground ruled Puffin Billy out of Festival Trials day at Cheltenham on Saturday but Sherwood confirmed he will have one more run before the festival in March.

He said: "The plan is to go to Exeter on Sunday week for a two mile one furlong Listed race. He's in A1 form and we're very happy with him."

Puffin Billy is rated a general 10-1 chance for the Supreme and a freely available 8-1 for the Neptune.

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