Black Op to swerve chasing debut at Newbury on Thursday

Black Op may reappear at Exeter week

Tom George is eyeing a race at Exeter for Black Op after ruling out an outing at Newbury on Thursday.

A Grade One winner over hurdles at Aintree, the seven-year-old chased home Samcro at the Cheltenham Festival.

Like many novice chasers, however, George is desperate for some rain before taking the wraps off him.

“He won’t go to Newbury on Thursday, as it’s not going to be soft enough,” said the Slad-based handler, speaking after God’s Own won the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.

“If they get plenty of rain he’ll go to Exeter next week, that’s what I’d like to do, but he needs the rain.

“He’s a proper winter ground horse and I’d run him on good to soft, but today it would be too quick for him.”

George also reported that his Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Summerville Boy remains on course for the BetVictor Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.