Betway Mersey Novices' Hurdle
Grade 1, Aintree 14:25
£100,000 added, 4yo plus,
2m 4f, Class 1  
Saturday 14th April 2018

1 Black Op 3/1
2 Lostintranslation 12/1
3 Momella 10/1
12 ran NR: Bedrock, Count Meribel Distances: ½l, 3l, 1l
Time: 5m 4.70s (slow by 21.70s)

Black Op gets the better of Lostintranslation to win

Black Op
© Racehorse Photos

Black Op
Black Op was produced with a well-timed run by Noel Fehily when getting up to score by half a length.
Winning trainer Tom George, who also won the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham with Summerville Boy, believes that Black Op has a bright future.
"We didn't want to be in front longer than we had to, he pricked his ears and was just babyish in front," said George. "It was a brave performance and we have thought for a long time that we had two of the best novice hurdlers around in him and Summerville Boy
"They are both owned by Roger Brookhouse, who has given me all the time in the world. They are lightly-raced, have been given time to mature and have come good at the right time.
"Black Op had been second to Samcro at Cheltenham and really made him work that day so he deserved to win this. It was a tough performance here and this is a stepping stone to his career as a chaser, that will be when he comes into his own.
"We needed to pull one out of the bag today and I thought we probably should do. These horses have all been working well at home and he came out of the Cheltenham race as well as he could having had a hard race behind Samcro.
"Noel got the tactics right - his biggest worry was that they weren't going to go any gallop. He has kicked on three out - he is still a babyish horse who has made a few mistakes and given the other horse a bit of a chance. When push came to shove, he really battled hard.
"He is a beautiful horse, a staying chaser in the making. We will be having a chat with Roger Brookhouse but going chasing will probably be the plan. He was always going to be a chaser rather than a hurdler and it's great to have won a G1 on the way.
"Summerville Boy is having a nice break at the moment. He is going to strengthen up over the summer and go back to Roger in due course. I am sure that both horses will have a good summer with him and we look forward to next season.
"I would say that Summerville Boy will stay over hurdles. He is a faster horse than Black Op and an exciting horse as well. He is still quite an immature horse, so we will give him plenty of time."

Betway Mersey Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 4f, Class 1
12 ran
Going: Soft

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Black Op (IRE) 3/1 N D Fehily
T R George 7
2nd ½ Lostintranslation (IRE) 12/1 R M Power
C L Tizzard 6
3rd 3 Momella (IRE) 10/1 Harry Skelton
D Skelton 6
4th 1 Aye Aye Charlie 25/1 P J Brennan
F O'Brien 6
5th Western Ryder (IRE) 13/2 R Johnson
W Greatrex 6
6th On The Blind Side (IRE) 11/8f Nico de Boinville
N J Henderson 6
7th Euxton Lane (IRE) 28/1 Aidan Coleman
O Sherwood 6
8th 22 Chosen Path (IRE) 20/1 Wayne Hutchinson
A King 5
9th 22 Kildisart (IRE) 25/1 D A Jacob
B Pauling 6
PU Better Getalong (IRE) 40/1 D N Russell
N G Richards 7
PU Brianstorm (IRE) 33/1 G Sheehan
W Greatrex 6
PU Silver Concorde 50/1 B Hughes
K Dalgleish 10
NR Bedrock Henry Brooke
I Jardine 5
NR Count Meribel M D Grant
N A Twiston-Davies 6