Summerville Boy could bid to get his season back on track in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham next week.
Having rounded off the last campaign with a narrow victory over Kalashnikov in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the six-year-old made his reappearance in last weekend’s Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.
However, he proved no match for dual Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D’Air or Irish challenger Samcro, finishing last of four finishers.
Trainer Tom George admitted to being disappointed by Summerville Boy’s comeback effort – but is hopeful his charge can raise his game.
“He was disappointing and obviously he was a long way from the horse he was at Cheltenham,” said the Slad-based trainer.
“Nothing really has come to light. All the tests he’s had have been clear and nothing has shown up – I think we’ll just have to put it down as a bad day at the office.
“He’s back riding again now and seems fine, so we’ll just have to carry on.
“He was beaten first time out Stratford last year and isn’t the most straightforward horse. We very much felt our way with him last year, whereas this year he was in at the deep end against the best horses in the British Isles.
“I don’t think the Christmas Hurdle would have been his thing last season, never mind this season. Kempton wouldn’t really be his track, I don’t think, but there aren’t that many options for him.
“We could give him an entry in the International at Cheltenham. We know he likes it there, so that might be an option.
“I think we’ll just enter him up, see how he is and make sure we’re happy with him.”