Puffin Billy is now set to line up in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham

Last Updated: 09/03/13 2:49pm

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Puffin Billy: Supreme Novices' is the target

Puffin Billy: Supreme Novices' is the target

Sky Bet

Puffin Billy is set to line up in the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival after a change of heart from trainer Oliver Sherwood.

The five-year-old won two bumpers and two hurdles before meeting with the first defeat of his career at Exeter last time out, finishing nine lengths adrift of Melodic Rendezvous over two miles and a furlong, however he was subsequently found to have an injury to one of his feet after that contest.

He could now clash with that rival again at Prestbury Park on Tuesday after Sherwood confirmed he will run in the two-mile Supreme rather the longer Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.

"I'm almost certain that he will run in the Supreme Novices' now," Sherwood told skysports.com.

"It was a decision that was everything to do with the weather and nothing to do with the opposition or anything like that - I'm just glad that I left him in the Supreme at the six-day stage on Wednesday because I could not have done.

"The owner has been fantastic and always said that it would be my decision and I just think with the ground the way it is going to be, going two miles five would be a real slog for a horse who hasn't been over the trip before.

"With the water table so high, it has only taken a relatively small amount of rain to make a massive difference and there's no doubt in my mind that it is going to proper soft ground.

"I've been really pleased with him since we sorted him out after his last race and now we just need a bit of luck in the race."

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