Summerville Boy lands the Supreme Novices' Hurdle

Filed on 13 Mar 2018 @ 16:13

Summerville Boy snatched victory in the opening race of the Cheltenham Festival 2018, the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle, in the last few strides of the race. The Tom George-trained six-year-old, a 9/1 shot, beat Kalashnikov, who led nearly all the way up the final hill, by a neck.

The 7/4 favourite Getabird, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh, finished 11th.

George, for whom it was a second Festival winner - his first was Galileo in the 2002 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle - said: "After he made those two or three mistakes, I thought we would be doing well to get in the first four, and he just kept picking up again. I suppose he won by four lengths going away at Sandown [in the G1 Tolworth Hurdle] and without those mistakes he would have done the same today. But you can't knock him for what he's done - he's still an inexperienced horse.

"To give Noel [Fehily, who rode Summerville Boy] his due, he got beaten on him early on in the season round here and he said that day that none of those horses would ever beat us with a true-run gallop, and he was correct. The horse has taken a lot of switching off at home, as well. He's ridden by one of my best riders, an Indian lad called Singh, and he's absolutely made that horse. He told me he would win a Grade One."

Asked about what he thought might lie ahead for the horse, George replied: "I'm sure [owner] Roger Brookhouse and I will hatch a few plans but let's just enjoy today. He was very, very ready for today so whether that might just empty him a bit, I don't know, but we've done the job we needed to."

Roger Brookhouse, owner of Summerville Boy, said: "That feels very good! We thought the horse had a very good engine and we didn't think the ground would be a bother to him. You want to stay in this and he's certainly done it. He made a mistake at the second-last and the last and he still got back up."

Filed on 13 Mar 2018 @ 16:13