Tom George believes Summerville Boy deserves a crack at the best two-mile hurdlers after his exploits last season and he gets the chance straight away in Saturday’s BetVictor Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner will certainly have his mettle tested as he is due to take on dual champion Buveur D’Air and Irish star Samcro.
Summerville Boy’s Festival success came in last-gasp fashion after mistakes at the final two flights meant he only overtook Kalashnikov in the dying strides.
“He had a good summer, he’s been back in since the middle of July and since then we’ve been gradually stepping him up and he’s ready to go now,” George told At The Races.
“Hopefully it will be a good platform for the rest of the season.
“We had a few mistakes in the latter part of his races, but essentially he’s a good jumper. I think he’s got an unbelievable amount of talent, he was just looking around, so it’s greenness more than anything.
“We’ve been happy with his schooling so I don’t see it being a problem.”
Samcro beat Black Op, a stablemate of Summerville Boy in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in March and George feels that gives him a good sense of the form.
“Black Op was the only horse to get near to Samcro and he got the last wrong that day. Without that, he’d have put it up to him, but he’s a different horse completely to Summerville Boy so we’ve a good idea where we stand. We’ll just keep that to ourselves for the time being!” he said.
“Obviously they have been talking Samcro up as the best to come out of Ireland for some time and if that’s the case, then we’ll be happy to come behind him, but we’ll give it our best shot and see how we get on.
“We couldn’t be happier, he’s in at the deep end but hopefully we’ll have something to build on.”