Sunday 11 December 2016

Gold Cup back in focus for Grand National hero Many Clouds

Published 05/03/2016 | 12:48

Many Clouds and Leighton Aspell touch down ahead of Tony McCoy and Shutthefrontdoor en route to victory in the Crabbie’s Grand National last year.
Many Clouds and Leighton Aspell touch down ahead of Tony McCoy and Shutthefrontdoor en route to victory in the Crabbie’s Grand National last year.

Oliver Sherwood will consider letting Many Clouds line up in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup after the weather ruined plans to run at Kelso.

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Last year's Grand National hero would have been a hot favourite to complete his preparations for a return to Aintree with victory in the totepoolliveinfo.com Premier Chase, but the fixture was abandoned due to waterlogging.

Sherwood will discuss alternative options with owner Trevor Hemmings in the coming days, but with opportunities running out, another crack at the blue riband at Prestbury Park is a distinct possibility.

The Upper Lambourn handler told At The Races: "I don't know what we'll do at the moment. He's obviously still in the Gold Cup.

"It's very much up in the air and I can't commit to anything for the next couple of days.

"As soon as we come to a decision, we'll let everybody know.

"I would have loved for him to have gone (to Kelso) and won for his own confidence.

"The gap between Kelso and the National was five weeks, which was just perfect.

"Last year between the Gold Cup and the National it was four weeks, this year it's three weeks, so that's huge.

"The one positive, if we did go for the Gold Cup again, is he's had a relatively quiet season.

"Last year he had a pretty hard season and didn't turn up in the Gold Cup, even though he finished sixth.

"It wasn't a bad prep run for the National last year, so we might have to have a crack at it again."

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