Noel Fehily feels Black Op needs “more work” on his fencing technique if he is to fulfil his potential as a chaser.
Tom George’s charge was a Grade One winner as a novice over hurdler at Aintree, having finished second to Samcro at Cheltenham, but he has been beaten on his first two outings over fences.
While the consensus was he needed the run in a hot race at Exeter on his debut, his jumping left a lot to be desired when third in the Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.
“He’s had a couple of sessions with Yogi Breisner (jumping guru) and could probably do with one or two more,” Fehily told Sky Sports Racing.
“He just needs practice, and he needs to learn to respect his fences – at the moment he’s getting in too deep. He’s getting himself into trouble, and then it’s too late to get himself out of trouble.
“It’s just experience – he needs to learn, he needs more work. He might get the hang of it eventually.”
When asked if a step up to three miles might suit, Fehily said: “I’m sure going half a stride slower might help eventually, but he needs to learn to respect fences himself.
“I tried everything the other day. I tried letting him loose to see what he’d do, but he just wasn’t respecting them and running in too deep.”