Puffin Billy blows his rivals away at Ascot

20:37 21 December 2012

Puffin Billy ridden by Barry Geraghty to win the Mitie Kennel Gate Novices Hurdle race during the Christmas Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire. Picture: Phil Cole/PA Wire

Puffin Billy ridden by Barry Geraghty to win the Mitie Kennel Gate Novices Hurdle race during the Christmas Meeting at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire. Picture: Phil Cole/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

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Trainer Oliver Sherwood praised his rising star Puffin Billy who remains unbeaten after he thumped a boutique field in one of the two feature races at Ascot on Friday.

The four-year-old proved to have plenty in hand over his three rivals as he eased to a five length victory in the two mile, Grade 2 Mitie Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle, under jockey Barry Geraghty who rode a treble today.

The success was the son of Heron Island’s fourth in as many starts and Sherwood believes Puffin Billy is the best he has trained since multiple Group 1 winner Large Action 20 years ago.

“He is the best I’ve had since Large Action. There is no doubt. Until the bubble bursts I will enjoy it,” Sherwood said.

“He used to bolt blind and has gone from being a tearaway to being completely chilled which is a credit to the team at home.

“Any horse who can come off the bridle like that in a Grade 2 race is a bit special.

“I am very aware that he is only a four-year-old and there is still plenty of improvement. I am not wrapping him up in cotton wool but I want to look after him.

“I want to give him one more run before Cheltenham, maybe in late January. He will be entered in the two and two and a half mile races at Cheltenham.”

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