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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Tom George holds fire on Cheltenham target for Tolworth winner Summerville Boy

Summerville Boy: 20-1 for the Supreme and Ballymore
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Tom George, savouring Summerville Boy's Grade 1 success in Saturday's 32Red Tolworth Novices' Hurdle at Sandown, has warned punters that his Cheltenham Festival target has yet to be decided.

The Roger Brookhouse-owned six-year-old, who stayed on stoutly in the 2m Tolworth under Noel Fehily for a four-length victory, can be backed at 20-1 for the 2m½f Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle but is generally the same price for the 2m5f Ballymore Novices' Hurdle.

"That is one I haven't got any idea about yet," George said on Sunday morning. "We've got to talk to Roger, we haven't discussed it. He's a horse with a lot of speed, but will stay as well – we've plenty of options."

George credited the strong pace in the Tolworth for helping Summerville Boy secure the success after placed efforts in two Cheltenham novice hurdles in November and December. 

"I think he's been very unfortunate that the previous two races he'd run in were run at a steady pace and he was far too keen," added the trainer, who was a guest on Racing UK's Luck on Sunday. "Noel Fehily, who rode him at Cheltenham, said you'd see a completely different picture when they go a proper gallop and that came true yesterday.

"He's a very strong traveller and a quick horse. What happened at Cheltenham has taught the horse to settle a bit. Okay, it was frustrating on the day because we knew we probably had the best horse, but in the long run it would have taught him a bit and helped with his jumping.

"We knew if it was a true gallop he'd settle better and it all fell our way on the big day."

Aintree aim for Wild West Wind?

George was at Chepstow on Saturday to watch Wild West Wind run in the Coral Welsh Grand National and reported the 12th-fence faller to be fine.

"He's okay," George said. "He hasn't been out in the paddock yet as it's a bit frosty, but he will be later. It was very unfortunate, there seemed to be a mix up between him and his jockey, but luckily he's there for another day and I'm sure there'll be a big day in him.

"We've got to think about that [the Grand National]. We've got to get another race under our belt and he's probably got to go up a couple of pounds."

Wild West Wind was ridden by Adrian Heskin, who went to hospital with a wrist injury on Saturday evening, but expects to be back in a few days after his x-rays were clear.

Tolworth result, analysis and replay

Tolworth report

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