Samcro – Cheltenham festival 2018
The Cheltenham festival has finally arrived with many of the top national hunt horses set to race for in excess of over £4 million on offer as prize money over the famous four days. The talent on show is as good as ever but one horse that has continued to get the public talking is the stunning Samcro as he heads for the Ballymore novice hurdle on day two of the meeting,
The 6-year-old son of Germany has always had a tall reputation for connections following his move from Colin Bowe for £335,000 back in October 2016. He won his first 3 bumper starts with the last being the most impressive in beating Cluan Dara by 17 lengths on the bridle. The horse then entered this season fairly under the radar considering he had not raced in any of the top contests such as the Champion bumper at the festival as connections did not want to rush the progression of the horse.
Samcro started his current novice hurdle campaign in beating Mind’s eye by 15 lengths in a canter. The form looked average at the time but Mind’s eye then went on to land a maiden on his next start and then backed that up with an impressive win in a competitive handicap. This then drew the public’s attention to Samcro as an extremely exciting prospect.
Samcro’s next start was in the Grade 3 Monksfield novice hurdle at Navan. He again tanked through the contest before putting the race to bed in a matter of strides looking far superior to the opposition. His nearest challenger coming from the Jessica Harrington trained Jetz who trailed 12 lengths behind. The hype surrounding the horse continued to grow but there was still several people looking to crab the horse as just hype considering he still had not beaten any top class opposition.
His next and most recent start was his first at the top level. This was in the Deloitte novice hurdle at Leopardstown in which he was sent off at odds of 4/6. Considering the future of the horse clearly lies as a staying chaser the contest over two miles was clearly not going to be ideal for the horse. In addition to this they went very slow early on so the race turned into a sprint finish with just a few furlongs to go. Samcro as is customary with the horse switched off so well throughout and came to challenge on the bridle before the last. He kicked clear under hands and heels for Jack Kennedy to firmly establish himself as a star. Samcro has backed up the hype.
Samcro now heads for the Ballymore novice hurdle on day two of the meeting and is the odds on favourite to triumph. He must win this if he is to back up claims from connections and hopefully this will be a stepping stone to the likes of Cheltenham Gold Cup success in future years. Another key racing event to look forward to in the coming months is of course the Grand National. With the weights now out the race has a clearer picture and it is best to check out the Grand National betting guide for further updates on the race.