Upwardly mobile Sevarano in running for Cheltenham assignment

New Year’s Day target likely to be preferred over Newbury.

  • Sunday 15 December
  • News
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Oliver Sherwood is leaning towards sending Sevarano to Cheltenham on New Year’s Day for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

The Lambourn handler is keen to see if the hat-trick-seeking six-year-old will prove as effective on a more undulating track in the two-and-a-half-mile Listed prize.

After suffering defeat in all four starts over hurdles last season, the Tim Syder-owned gelding appears to have turned a corner after backing up his comeback victory at Chepstow at Newbury last month.

Sherwood said: “I can’t see Sevarano going to the Challow. He might go to Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.

“I’m quite keen to go to Cheltenham to see what he is like there, as he has only run over hurdles around Sandown, Newbury and Chepstow, which are tracks with two long straights.

“I want him to go up and down dale to see how he handles the track there.”

Should a trip to Cheltenham fail to materialise, Sherwood could tread a familiar path by taking in the Grade Two Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick, which he won with Deputy Dan in 2014, on January 11.

He added: “If we decide not to go to Cheltenham there is a possibility we could go for the Leamington, which we won for his owner with Deputy Dan a few years ago.

“They only put him up 5lb, he is 135-rated so has got a long way to go, so it might be that we have a crack at a handicap off that mark instead, but I need to speak to his owner.”

Sherwood plans to keep progressive novice chaser Sammy Bill to handicap company for the time being, after following up his debut victory over fences at Kempton with an impressive success at Aintree.

He said: “Sammy Bill has gone up to 135, so I can still run him in 0-135 races. Everybody will be talking about the two-and-a-half-mile novice race at the Cheltenham Festival for him.

“I would run him in another 0-135 as weight won’t be an issue to him as he 18 hands. I was really impressed with him at Aintree. He has just developed over the summer. I would say we would look at something over Christmas for him.”

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