Sherwood confident Sevarano can sparkle in Reynoldstown

Oliver Sherwood is optimistic about the chances of Sevarano in the Bateaux London Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot.

With ante-post principals The Big Breakaway and If The Cap Fits notable defectors at Thursday’s declaration stage, Sherwood believes his representative has a “favourite’s chance” of landing Saturday’s Grade Two contest.

“I’m guessing one or two maybe didn’t want to run and leave their Cheltenham behind, whereas our horse isn’t even entered at Cheltenham and purposely wasn’t going to go there,” said the Lambourn-based trainer.

A talented hurdler last season, Sevarano looks likely to scale even greater heights over fences, having won two of his first three starts this season.

He could finish only fourth on his latest appearance at Newbury in December, but Sherwood has a valid excuse.

He added: “It was unfortunate what happened at Newbury. He slipped into the first fence, and it unnerved him, but he schooled super on Thursday morning and is in a really good place.

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“This is the time to step up in trip – I’ve been dying to do it – and he handled this sort of ground over hurdles last year. He’s a big, strong boy now as an eight-year-old – and I’m sure he’ll handle it.

“I’m very happy with him, and he doesn’t get a penalty for his two wins this season because they were handicaps.

“I think he’s going there with a favourite’s chance.”

A six-strong field is headed by the Fergal O’Brien-trained Hurricane Harvey, who must shoulder a 5lb penalty for winning the Grade Two December Novices’ Chase at Doncaster last time out.

“He’s having to carry a penalty, which isn’t ideal, but there aren’t many options for him,” said O’Brien.

“There was a novice handicap at Doncaster next week, but again he’d be giving weight away.

“It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. It was great to win a Grade Two with him, but it makes the rest of the season tougher. Having said that, you’d take a Grade Two every time.

“It’s a rich man’s problem, as they say.”

David Pipe’s Remastered faces a step up in class after winning his first two starts over fences at Carlisle and Wetherby.

Trainer David Pipe saddles Remastered on the Reynoldstown
Trainer David Pipe saddles Remastered on the Reynoldstown (David Davies/PA)

Pipe said: “He’s got a bit to find on official ratings, but he likes soft ground, three miles around Ascot will be ideal – and he jumps well.

“It was a decent enough race that he won first time over fences at Carlisle, and then it was just a two-horse race he won at Wetherby, but he deserves to take his chance and has conditions to suit.”

Full Back is in a similar boat after winning at Plumpton and Exeter for Gary Moore, who said: “Hopefully he goes very well. He wouldn’t want too much more rain, he just doesn’t like it too heavy. I know he won in heavier ground, but he’s got away with it a bit.

“He’s in a good place, and this has always been the target, so hopefully he can give a good account of himself.”

Demachine (Kerry Lee) and Kalooki (Philip Hobbs) complete the line-up.

Sherwood eyes Sandown with Little Awkward

Oliver Sherwood has Sandown’s European Breeders’ Fund Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Final in mind as a long-term target for Little Awkward, following his victory at Plumpton.

The four-year-old made a successful jumping debut when making all to win unchallenged in the Derek Hunnisett Memorial ‘National Hunt’ Auction Maiden Hurdle on Monday.

Sherwood is not getting too carried away just yet, because it looked a moderate contest, but he was delighted with the manner of the performance.

“It was a pretty average race, with due respect to the others, but I was more pleased with the way he jumped and travelled,” said the Upper Lambourn trainer.

“He’s a cracking little horse. I wasn’t sure – I normally hate going two and a half (miles) first time, and he’s always shown a lot of speed.

“(But) I’m delighted – he did it very well.

“He needs a bit more experience. I’d like to get him qualified for the EBF final. That would be my ultimate goal, possibly.

“We’ll try to run with a penalty somewhere and go for an EBF qualifier and the final, I would think.”

Sevarano (right) in winning action at Sandown
Sevarano (right) in winning action at Sandown (Michael Steele/PA)

Stablemate Sevarano may bid to take his 100 per cent record over fences to three at Newbury on December 29.

Sherwood is eyeing a novice handicap chase over an extended two and a three-quarter miles for the seven-year-old, who has won his first two starts over fences at Sandown and Exeter.

“He’s probably going to go for a novice handicap at Newbury between Christmas and new year,” he said.

“Touch wood, he’s been very good. I’ve been very happy with his jumping. He’s been a total natural.”