sport

Puffin Billy heads to Haydock

Puffin Billy is set to be given another chance over hurdles this weekend at Haydock before a possible switch to steeplechasing.

An impressive winner of his first four starts, the gelding's form dipped when stepped up in class, finishing fifth in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and rounding off his season with a very weak effort at the Cheltenham April meeting.

After an ordinary fifth on his comeback in the Gerry Feilden at Newbury, where trainer Oliver Sherwood felt the ground was too quick, he has been entered in the nationwidevehiclecontracts.co.uk Handicap Hurdle on Saturday.

Puffin Billy's jockey Leighton Aspell said: "People having been trying to push Oliver into running him over fences - he's schooled over fences for 12 months and could run in a novice chase tomorrow if he had to.

"We want to give him one more run over hurdles in heavy ground before we decide in which direction we want to go."

Already over fences is stablemate Many Clouds, who was second to the useful Black Thunder at Haydock last time out and bypasses an option at Newbury this week.

"It's possible he'll run in the Feltham (Kempton, Boxing Day), " Aspell told At The Races.

"I think he'll find improvement going right-handed."