Clouds’ opening

PNE owner Trevor Hemmings with Many Clouds

PNE owner Trevor Hemmings with Many Clouds

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Oliver Sherwood is leaning towards starting former Grand National winner Many Clouds off in the Betfred Lotto Chase at Aintree in December.

Many Clouds, who carries the colours of Preston North End owner Trevor Hemmings was runner-up in the three-mile Listed prize Aintree race last season.

The nine-year-old, who has recently undergone a wind operation, failed in his bid to become the first horse since Red Rum in 1973 and 1974 to claim back-to-back renewals of the Aintree showpiece in April.

He was 16th behind winner Rule The World, virtually being pulled up after the last.

Sherwood said: “Many Clouds is fine. He had a little wind operation about a month ago.

“He is back cantering and due to come back into full work later this week.

“He made a noise after the Canal Turn in the National. Leighton Aspell just felt him gurgling.

“If they have something up with their wind, you find it out more on soft ground than good ground. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t like soft ground as he has won on soft and heavy in the past.

“He went to see the vet Ben Brain and there were no abnormalities in the airways. It was a very common procedure he had.

2It was just the cauterisation of his soft palate.

“I’ve not spoken to Mick Meagher (Hemmings’ racing manager) about a plan, 
but I could not be happier 
with him.

“My gut feeling is to probably go for the race at Aintree he finished second behind Don Poli in last year.

2As it is in December, it’s a race that we don’t have to 
rush or push him hard to get there.”