Noel Fehily and Tom George tasted Grade One success following Summerville Boy’s dominant display in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown.
In attritional conditions, the six-year-old son of Sandmason kept on resolutely up the punishing Sandown hill in a race run at a fast pace.
George’s charge was always well positioned, jumped slickly and quickened up in taking fashion to score at the Surrey venue by four lengths from Amy Murphy’s Kalashnikov, who struggled in the ground but kept on dourly to fill the runner-up position.
Paul Nicholls’ Mont Des Avaloirs travelled powerfully into contention in the home straight but a costly mistake put paid to his chances as he ultimately finished third.
The biggest disappointment of the race was Warren Greatrex’s well supported favourite Western Ryder who finished 31 lengths behind the winner and failed to travel on the ground.
Winning trainer George suggested that Summerville Boy could be Cheltenham-bound commenting:
It’s extraordinary how he hadn’t won a novice hurdle, but he’s a very strong-travelling horse and he’d been running in small fields when they’ve gone slow and he’s pulled too hard.
Noel said he’d beat them all if they went a proper gallop. Roger has been a big supporter and we’ve got plenty for him, so it’s nice to have a good one.