Tom George working on plans for star novice chasers

Sunday 3 November 2019 15:11, UK

Noel Fehily riding Summerville Boy celebrates winning the Sky Bet Supreme Novice Hurdle on Champion Day of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 13, 2018
Image: Summerville Boy - off the mark over fences

Tom George is busy making plans with owner Roger Brookhouse for Black Op and Summerville Boy, after both horses opened their accounts over fences impressively on last week's seasonal reappearances.

Black Op got off the mark at Stratford, having twice been placed over the bigger obstacles last term before reverting to hurdles, and Summerville Boy scored on his chase debut at Uttoxeter.

Both were winners at the top level over hurdles, yet drew a blank last season.

Cotswolds trainer George said: "We gave them the time, and he (Brookhouse) has got two lovely novice chasers.

"They are both Grade One novice hurdle winners - it was just last season was a combination of things.

"It's good we've given them a nice summer, and we've started afresh and started off on a note we thought we would."

George was delighted to see Summerville Boy make a successful start to his career over fences, with a game four-length verdict over First Flow.

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"It was a nice performance and good to get him back," he said.

"Last season everything went wrong, the first part of it, and then he finished off running well in the Irish Champion Hurdle (at Punchestown) - so it was nice to start him fresh over fences in a winning way.

"It was very holding ground at Uttoxeter, but he's a hardy horse.

"He'll cope with most type of things. He's done what he had to do, and (jockey) Johnny (Burke) said the hardest thing was pulling him up after the race - which is always a good sign.

"We just wanted to get the race under our belt and take it from there.

"We've got options, and he'll probably get further now. He's a lot more relaxed about life - he's grown up a lot. He used to be very keen, (but) he's a lot more mature now."

George was just as pleased with Black Op's effort, making all to beat Mr Antolini by 15 lengths.

"Black Op started off the season on a good note as well," he said.

"I'll have a chat with Roger, and work out where we go next."

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