One of the big talking points ahead of the jumps season was whether Samcro would stay over hurdles or kick off his campaign over fences. Many believed it would be fences as he looks tailor made for the job and could be another future Gold cup winner for the Gigginstown team. This is still likely but it will be a tilt at the Champion hurdle for the son of Germany this season.
Following the recent news many punters were quick to support him for the Cheltenham race via the bet365 mobile app. He is now the general favourite ahead of two time defending champion Buveur D’air. There is little doubt it has been a weak division for the last few seasons so it could be easy pickings for the very exciting Samcro come March.
BREAKING: Samcro will stay over hurdles this season, trainer Gordon Elliott has said, and will run in the Grade 2 WKD at Down Royal on Friday
— Racing Post (@RacingPost) October 29, 2018
Samcro is a six year old so it is a little surprising they have selected this route considering the team is always looking for that next Gold cup horse. Could Samcro follow in the footsteps of the great Dawn Run in becoming just the second horse to win both the Champion hurdle and Gold Cup at the Cheltenham festival?
Connections have always felt he could be that next superstar so it is an exciting season ahead for racing fans. He has a near unblemished record having won seven of his eight starts. This includes his stunning victory in the 2017 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival when sent over as the Irish banker for the meeting.
Samcro wins the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in good style and remains unbeaten over hurdles (4-4) for trainer @gelliott_racing #TheFestival pic.twitter.com/NpMy6vdXfc
— CheltenhamRacecourse (@CheltenhamRaces) March 14, 2018
Samcro contested the Punchestown Champion hurdle at the end of the season following a string of jaw dropping performances. This included a 12-length success when first stepped up into Group Company in the Monksfield Novice hurdle at Navan. He then really shot on the scene when sent off at 4/6 in his first group one, easing clear on the bridle to win by just over five lengths.
Following all these performances he was expected to do the business again against his elders at Punchestown. He was again sent off at odds on and travelled ominously well throughout, before falling three out when still in contention. It is difficult to say what would have been the outcome, but he did look the likely winner at the time. He now has to prove this has not dented his confidence and following his lengthy break he will be expected to dominate over the division throughout the season.