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CHELTENHAM: Summerville Boy rules Supreme at Cheltenham
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The Irish Field
CHELTENHAM: Summerville Boy rules Supreme at Cheltenham
on 13 March 2018
Amy Murphy-trained Summerville Boy took the title in the thrilling opening race at the Cheltenham Festival

SUMMERVILLE Boy lunged late to claim a thrilling renewal of the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Willie Mullins-trained 7-4 favourite Getabird set out to make all the running under Ruby Walsh, but he was a spent force before the home turn and Amy Murphy's Betfair Hurdle hero Kalashnikov straightened up in front.

Tom George's Summerville Boy, a 9-1 shot in the hands of Noel Fehily, was untidy at the second flight from the finish and also the last, but he devoured the hill to get up and beat Kalashnikov in the dying strides.

Mengli Khan was best of the rest in third.

Fehily told ITV Racing: "He's a wonderful horse and what a training performance by Tom George. This horse was absolutely cherry ripe today. "I thought I was gone at the second-last, I must have lost five, six lengths, but he was brave and fought back well.

"He was my best chance of the day, but you need a lot of luck. I thought if he didn't fire today I might be struggling, but what a horse.

"I'm delighted, it's a great start to the week."

George said: "He got into the race and made his mistakes all at the wrong time. It shows you what he might have done had he not made those mistakes. He's a brave, tough horse and it's a privilege to have him.

"He beat Kalashnikov fair and square in the Tolworth, four lengths going away. Today, we made some mistakes which made it a bit closer, but he's done it and that's the most important thing.

"I've been lucky. We've had plenty of Grade Ones over the years, but to win a Supreme for the first time is great."

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