Sensational Samcro stuns Leopardstown rivals in Deloitte

Sun 4 Feb 2018
 Samcro study - Feb 2018 - Leopardstown Samcro was in a different leasgue to his rivals on Sunday (Racingfotos)

By staff

Samcro stylishly maintained his 100 per cent record with a stunning display in the Grade One Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Gordon Elliott's great white hope was sent off the 4-6 favourite, despite dropping back down to two miles, but the result was never in doubt.

There was no great pace early doors as Patrick Mullins went to the front on Real Steel, but the likes of Paloma Blue and Sharjah were pulling hard.

Plenty still held a chance as the big field turned into the straight, but young jockey Jack Kennedy looked to have everything covered on the hot favourite.

Paloma Blue escaped from the pack and gave Samcro something to chase but Elliott's inmate showed plenty of gears and easily went clear by five and a half lengths.

The inexperienced Duc Des Genievres stayed on nicely to claim second for Willie Mullins, with Paloma Blue holding on for third.

Elliott was enjoying his first winner of the Dublin Racing Festival - his title rival Willie Mullins had already achieved five - and wore a relieved look.

“Just to get a winner, I’m relieved because I thought today was our better chance of having a winner," he said. "Jack gave him a great ride and that run opens up a lot of doors, you could go anywhere with him.

Samcro wins - Leopardstown - 2018 Samcro finishes a long way clear of his rivals at Leopardstown on Sunday (Racingfotos)

“Nothing fazes him, he does what he has to do. A bit like myself! He’s such a good horse and we’re lucky to have him.”

BetVictor make Samcro 10-11 (from 6-4) for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham next month and 2-1 favourite (from 7-2) for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Kerry teenage riding star Kennedy could not have been more impressed.

“He done everything right, he couldn’t do any more, jumped great, travelled well…did it easy. He gives you plenty of options.

“He lives up to the hype. He’s a dream ride, he travels away and is always there when you want him.”

Michael O’Leary, Samcro’s owner, added: “He ran well, jumped well, and will come on for the run. He got a lovely ride from Jack – I’m bricking myself every time he runs that he’ll take a fall or something will happen.

"But it’s nice to have one as good as him. We’ll have to keep the hype down now.”

Willie Mullins, trainer of the second, was more than happy with the run given his horse’s inexperience.

“I’m delighted with that, for a horse having only his third run of his life that was a big run.”

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