Black Op could line up in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham later this month after connections decided to bring an early end to his novice chasing campaign.

The eight-year-old was a Grade One winner over the smaller obstacles for Tom George last term and also filled the runner-up spot behind Samcro in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

However, he has been beaten twice over fences this term and George and owner Roger Brookhouse have decided to switch his sights back to hurdles, with an extensive schooling programme mapped out for the summer break.

The trainer told www.tomgeorgeracing.co.uk: “Black Op did well to finish a close third in the Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on Tuesday after a catalogue of jumping errors.

“Following discussions with his owner Roger Brookhouse, Noel Fehily and jumping expert Yogi Breisner, we have decided that he should revert back to hurdles for the remainder of the season.

“Yogi, who has had a couple of sessions with him recently, would like to have him for a spell over the summer months to do some extensive schooling before a decision is made regarding his chasing career.

“He is likely to make his reappearance back over the smaller obstacles in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham later this month.”


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Published 8:55 05/01/19


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