32Red Tolworth Hurdle
|Grade 1, Sandown 14:25
1m 7f 216y, Class 1
|Saturday 6th January 2018|
1 Summerville Boy 8/1
2 Kalashnikov 2/1
3 Mont Des Avaloirs 4/1
5 ran NR: Sussex Ranger Distances: 4l, 9l, 18l
Time: 4m 3.50s (slow by 18.50s)
Summerville Boy causes something of a minor surprise
Despite a poor jump by Summerville Boy, Noel Fehily was able to gather his mount up and keep him going for a four-length win.
Kalashnikov stuck on gamely for second while the four-year-old Mont Des Avaloirs was third, hampered by a bad leap at the second last.
The disappointment of the race was Western Ryder, who beat the winner last time out at Cheltenham.
Fehily told ITV Racing: "At Cheltenham it was a false-run race and he was very free. It was an even gallop today and that suited him.
"He's a very nice horse.
"I was hoping no one would notice I lost an iron at the last, he got into the bottom of it, but luckily he won really well.
"I think he'll get further, but he's a big baby. Tom has been minding him and the reason he's been running in good races is to keep him as a novice for next year if he didn't win."
Owner Roger Brookhouse said: "He wanted a pace and he got it today. He will be a nice horse. Eventually he will go over fences.
"He will be a different horse next year when he has had another summer.
"Hopefully he will go to Cheltenham - it is where we all want to go. Cheltenham is probably a stiffer two (miles) than it is around here, so we can stick with him at two for the time being and probably for this season. He has got the pace for it.
"We've always thought he was a good horse, but he does have to have the pace. He went to Cheltenham when he was second to Slate House and he was 16-1 and we said he shouldn't be 16-1.
"He is a big, rangy horse and he needs to mature a bit. He has got plenty of toe and is by a good stallion (Sandmason).
"He is a good chaser in the making. He has done very well. We didn't think the ground would bother him, but you don't know until they go on it. He won his bumper on very soft ground. I think he will handle the quicker ground as well."
Amy Murphy was proud of Kalashnikov in second and said: "He has ran an absolute blinder.
"He has such a good action, I just think the ground has just told all the way up the straight.
"He was so tough, I think another half a furlong (and) he would have got there. He was as tough as they come up the straight and he is probably going to need two and a half now, which we thought coming here.
"We are absolutely delighted. You could see down the back straight he has got this lovely action and it was a shame to waste it on this ground, but he has ran a blinder.
"It is very exciting for us all and he has firmly stamped himself as a Grade One horse today. He will probably be a tired boy after today as that was the first time he has had a race. I think the way he has ran there, the Ballymore is the way we will go."
Speaking from Chepstow, George told At The Races: "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."
32Red Tolworth Hurdle (Grade 1 Novices' Hurdle)
£45,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m 7f 216y, Class 1
|1st||Summerville Boy (IRE) 8/1||N D Fehily
|T R George||6|
|2nd||4||Kalashnikov (IRE) 2/1||Jack Quinlan
|Miss Amy Murphy||5|
|3rd||9||Mont Des Avaloirs (FR) 4/1||Sean Bowen
|P F Nicholls||5|
|4th||18||Western Ryder (IRE) 7/4f||R Johnson
|5th||36||The Russian Doyen (IRE) 10/1||R M Power
|C L Tizzard||5|
|NR||Sussex Ranger (USA) SP||J E Moore
|G L Moore||4|