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Puffin Billy blows his rivals away at Ascot

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

By Simon Jackson, London24’s horse racing correspondent at Ascot
Friday, December 21, 2012
8:37 PM

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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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