The long-absent Puffin Billy will not make his return to the racecourse until later in the season after suffering another setback.
The eight-year-old has had his fair share of problems during his career, but has no little ability having won eight of his 15 career starts.
A dual bumper winner and a Grade Two victor over hurdles, he racked up a hat-trick over fences with victories at Leicester, Ascot and Ayr in the spring of 2015, but has not been seen in competitive action since and his comeback has been delayed.
Trainer Oliver Sherwood said: “He’s had a setback, which is typical of him, and he won’t be back until the second half of the season.
“It’s frustrating as he was all set to run at the beginning of December, but god willing we’ll get him out at some stage.”
Asked whether Puffin Billy would return over fences or hurdles, the Rhonehurst handler said: “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I just want to concentrate on getting him back.”B