Trainer Tom George insists Summerville Boy is looking sharp ahead of Saturday’s BetVictor Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.
The six-year-old makes his seasonal bow in the north east on Saturday in a race billed as a mini-Champion Hurdle.
It will certainly be a solid test for Summerville Boy as he goes up against Buveur D’Air and Irish star Samcro.
All three are expected to be serious contenders to take the two-mile hurdling crown at Cheltenham in March and this weekend will give an early suggestion as to their credentials.
George insists his charge, who was last seen when winning the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham, is ready to lay down a marker.
“His work is sharper than it used to be,” George said. “It may not mean he will improve on the track but he’s come on mentally and physically. Everything has gone well since he returned here in the middle of July.
“He’s been building up to this race. He’s ready for a run and he’s had a good preparation.”