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Samcro heads 15 contenders for Leopardstown Grade One glory

Tue 30 Jan 2018

Samcro features among 15 horses still in contention for the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on Saturday.

The two-mile-six-furlong Grade One raises the curtain on the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival and Gordon Elliott's unbeaten six-year-old will undoubtedly be the star attraction if taking up this engagement.

The son of Germany has won a point-to-point, three bumpers and twice over hurdles and is already a best priced 7-4 favourite for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

His weekend target has not yet been finalised, however, with connections also leaving him in the Irish Champion Hurdle and the Deloitte Novice Hurdle.

Samcro is one of four entries for Elliott and Gigginstown House Stud in the opening race of the weekend along with Monkshood, Delta Work and Dortmund Park.

Willie Mullins could call upon Carter McKay, Fabulous Saga and Real Steel.

The Coral Dublin Chase looks set to stage a fascinating clash between Mullins inmates Min and Yorkhill.

Min suffered his first defeat over fences when losing a Grade One in the stewards' room at this venue over Christmas. The winner, the Nicky Richards-trained Simply Ned, is set to renew rivalries.

Yorkhill disappointed on his seasonal reappearance over three miles in Leopardstown's Christmas Chase, but is a short-priced favourite to show his true colours back over two miles on Saturday.

Mullins also has American Tom and Ballycasey in the mix, while Henry de Bromhead's Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Special Tiara adds further strength in depth to a 10-strong field.

Don't Touch It heads 28 remaining entries in the Sandyford Handicap Chase, while the 100,000 euro Coral Hurdle features Meri Devie, Trainwreck and Ben Dundee.

The only race on Saturday's card for which entries had not previously been made is the concluding Goffs Future Stars INH Flat Race.

The 75,000 euro contest carries Grade Two status and has unsurprisingly attracted a strong field of 14 youngsters.

Mullins, who for years was the dominant force in this sphere, has entered Carefully Selected, Minella Encore and Blackbow.

A similarly formidable Elliott team includes Felix Desjy and Rapid Escape.

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