Summerville Boy to stay over hurdles with Fighting Fifth an early target
Mersey Novice winner Black Op set for novice chasing campaign
Tom George has high hopes Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner Summerville Boy can continue to make his presence felt over hurdles and has pencilled in Newcastle's Grade 1 Unibet Fighting Fifth Hurdle on December 1 as an early-season target.
The six-year-old battled through heavy ground at the Cheltenham Festival to deny Kalashnikov by a neck, and George said: "He’s strengthened up physically and matured phenomenally, he’s doing routine canters now and we’re just keeping him ticking over.
"He’s more than likely staying over hurdles – that’s our initial plan at this stage. He’s a very quick horse so we’ll stay over two miles. He’s naturally a good jumper and he’s very brave. He’ll jump fences eventually but he’s so quick we don’t need to go down that route yet.
"The Fighting Fifth would be our first major target but we’ll probably have a run before that."
Stablemate Black Op found only Samcro too good in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham, but subsequently went one better in the Mersey Novices' Hurdle. He is set to be tested over fences this year.
George added: "He’s schooled over fences and that’s always what his job will be – and he’s good at it. He’ll get three miles but we will probably start over two and a half. He’s an enormous horse, he’s very rangy and he’s an exciting horse and we can go anyway we want with him."
George also reported Double Shuffle, a 50-1 second in the King George VI Chase last year, was being readied for the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on November 3
He added: "Last season was a great year, it’s great to get winners at the big festivals. I’m happy with the horses we’ve got and looking forward to starting."
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