Dan 'not out of the woods'

Oliver Sherwood is hopeful Deputy Dan will recover quickly from a nasty cut suffered during his impressive display at Warwick on Saturday.

The six-year-old ran out an nine-length winner of the Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, better known as the Leamington, but returned to the winner's enclosure with a gash to a hind leg.

Deputy Dan spent the night at the Valley Equine Hospital in Lambourn and is likely to remain there for the next 24 hours, but Sherwood is keeping his fingers crossed his star youngster will return home on Monday morning.

Sherwood said: "He spent last night at the Valley Equine Hospital and he'll stay there again tonight, but hopefully it's not too serious.

"The cut is a bit of a mess, but my vet Paul Ferguson has looked at it and it is clean, which is the main thing.

"He is pretty confident it's going to be all right, but there is always the risk of the infection and we're not out of the woods yet. We'll have a better idea of where we stand in the next 24 to 36 hours.

"Hopefully he'll walk home in the morning, the hospital is only about 400 yards from the yard."

While Sherwood is not ruling out giving his charge another run before the Cheltenham Festival in March, he is leaning towards sending him straight to either the Neptune or the Albert Bartlett at Prestbury Park.

"He'll have a couple of quiet weeks, which he would have done win, lose or draw, and my gut feeling is he won't have another run between now and Cheltenham," said the trainer.

"We might decide in a few weeks he needs another run, but he is improving all the time and at the moment I'm thinking he'd go straight there, but for which race, I'm not sure."