Trainer Tom George is thinking of changing tactics with Black Op for his next start after being pleased with his first effort over fences, despite being beaten.
Cheltenham on New Year’s Day for the Dipper Novices’ Chase could be the next port of call for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle runner-up, who had to settle for third place behind Defi Du Seuil in hot-looking race at Exeter.
“I was delighted with him. He will come on for it, but the most important thing was to have a nice round of jumping. Probably the next day we will force the issue a bit with him,” said George.
“Noel (Fehily) got injured before it and we said to Sam (Twiston-Davies) just make sure he gets round and has a nice day out.
“We didn’t want to get tired and he didn’t get tired – he was beaten by a Triumph Hurdle winner. He is a stayer and we were beaten by a speed horse.
“When it is a proper test of stamina I think you will see the best of our horse.
“I’ve not spoken to Roger (Brookhouse, owner) yet, but there was a race here (Cheltenham) I was thinking about on New Year’s Day. Whether we go for that or something smaller, I don’t know.”