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

Although plans remain fluid, the Upper Lambourn handler has earmarked the three-mile Listed prize, in which the Trevor Hemmings-owned gelding finished second in 12 months ago, as a potential starting point.

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 when 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 a 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 Ben Brain (vet) and there were no abnormalities in the airways. It was a very common procedure he had. It 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. As it is in December, it's a race that we don't have to rush or push him hard to get there."