Sherwood facing Dan deliberation

Oliver Sherwood plans to make a late decision on which race Deputy Dan will contest at next week's Cheltenham Festival.

The six-year-old has won his last two starts over hurdles, most recently running out an impressive victor in the Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Warwick in early January.

Sherwood must now decide whether to let his charge line up in the race of the same name at Prestbury Park a week on Wednesday, or step him up to three miles for the first time in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle two days later.

Sherwood said: "We were going to take him to Newbury for a racecourse gallop, but the ground was so bottomless on Friday and Saturday, we decided to give it a miss.

"We went somewhere else with him on Sunday and we were very pleased with him. He is absolutely A1 and on-song.

"We'll decide later in the week which race we're going to go for.

"Like most trainers we're waiting to see what the weather is going to do. I'm sure the ground at Cheltenham isn't going to ride good as the water table is so high, but it does dry out quickly.

"A week is a long time in racing, so we'll make a decision nearer the time, but we're very happy with the horse."

Deputy Dan is set to head a small but select team of Festival runners for Upper Lambourn-based trainer.

He said: "Many Clouds is going for the RSA Chase, all being well.

"Drum Valley will hopefully run in the Pertemps Final and Carry On Sydney will run in the Fred Winter if he gets in.

"Mischievous Milly is going for the mares' race and with Quevega in there, the rest of us are probably racing for second, third and fourth."