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Many Clouds may go for Gold after National prep is foiled by weather.

Byline: CHRIS WRIGHT Racing reporter @LIVECHOSPORT

OLIVER Sherwood is mulling over whether to run 2015 Crabbie's Grand National hero Many Clouds in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup after his Aintree preparations were scuppered by the abandonement of Kelso's Saturday meeting.

Last year's Aintree hero was set to have his final run in the Premier Chase at the Scottish venue before returning to Merseyside to bid to become the first back-to-back winner of the Grand National since Red Rum in 1973-74.

But with Kelso abandoned due to waterlogging, Sherwood's plans for the nine-year-old - who is a best-priced 12-1 joint favourite with Silviniaco Conti for the National - are up in the air.

The Lambourn handler will have to discuss an alternative prep run with owner Trevor Hemmings. But with the National now less than five weeks away, Many Clouds may run again in the Gold Cup a week this Friday.

Sherwood said: "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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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 6, 2016
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