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Puffin Billy

Puffin Billy (right): recovering well from colic but will not race this season

  PICTURE: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images  

Puffin to return next season in novice chase

OLIVER SHERWOOD is looking forward to going novice chasing next season with Puffin Billy, who is recovering well from a life-threatening surgery on his small intestine just before Christmas but will not run again this term.

The six-year-old, who was unbeaten in his first four races and finished a good fifth to Champagne Fever in last season's Supreme Novices' Hurdle, had been declared to run at Haydock on December 21 when he was struck down with colic overnight.

Sherwood said: "He's being led out twice daily and seems to be doing well, but there's no point in rushing him back for one race in the spring, when the ground can change so quickly, and so we've decided to write off this season and then come back to go novice chasing with him in the autumn.

"They opened up his belly and, in layman's terms, literally had to undo a knot in his small intestine, but my vet Paul Ferguson is over the moon with him and with the job the surgeon Jessica Kidd did at the Valley Equine Hospital, which is just down the road from me. There is always a worry it will return one day, but the prognosis is good."

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