Puffin Billy set to miss Cheltenham

  • Last Updated: January 22 2013, 12:26 GMT

Oliver Sherwood is "pretty certain" that Puffin Billy will not run at Cheltenham this weekend even if the meeting survives the weather.

Puffin Billy: Set to wait for Exeter contest
Puffin Billy: Set to wait for Exeter contest

The unbeaten five-year-old is among a star-studded entry of 16 in the Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, which has been won by the likes of Diamond Harry and Bobs Worth in recent years.

However, Sherwood is thinking of tackling a race at Exeter instead as he looks for a slightly easier assignment.

"I'm pretty certain he won't run," said Sherwood.

"God willing the meeting is on for racing's sake, but even if it is, I can't see us running.

"We'll probably pass and go to Exeter in a fortnight (Bathwick Tyres Plymouth Novices' Hurdle, February 10).

"There's nothing wrong with him at all, it's just a gut feeling, there's no particular reason.

"It looks a very strong race on paper and I think I'd prefer to keep my powder dry.

"With the weather and everything - I know it's the same for everybody - we've just not been able to keep to his routine."

The likes of Coneygree, The New One and At Fishers Cross are among the possible runners.

Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week