Davy Russell has been given the ride on Samcro in Sunday's Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle after his normal Jockey, Jack kennedy is serving a ban for over use of the whip.
Trainer Gordon Elliott was officially entered into the race today after there as suspicion that Gigginstown camp were going to bring him out of the race due to the quick ground conditions, but all seems to be ok with the surface easing.
The hurdling superstar was surprisingly beat on his seasonal reappearance by Bedrock in the Grade 2 WKD hurdle at Down Royal, in what wis his first loss over these obstacles when not falling.
The big problem in racing over the summer and Autumn was how unseasonably dry it was meaning the majority of racecourses have really struggled to provide the surfaces needed for the national hunt big guns to race on. Punchestown Yesterday started a selective watering programme to conquer this.
(Credit At The Races) Elliott said:“Davy Russell will ride him.
“We’re declaring these horses, but it’s just been an extreme year with the ground being so good.
“We’re all pulling our hair out, if we take them out late we’re getting fined, which is a bit harsh, but we can’t chance these horses.
“He’ll definitely be declared, as will Tombstone.”
Willie Mullins brings a strong team into the race and Faugheen leads the way for the yard but Elliott isn't afraid.
He added: “No matter where you go there’ll be something to take on, you can’t tippy-toe around like you can in England.”
Another Gigginstown prospect was pulled out of a race on Thursday due to ground conditions being too quick and Shattered Love who the JLT Novices Chase at Cheltenham last season will head for the John Durkan Chase at Punchestown.
His trainer said: “We brought her down hoping, but it’s genuine good ground.
“We waited until after the chase to decide but the jockeys, both Davy Russell and Jack Kennedy, said it was too quick to run her.
“I was mad keen to run her, she was a short-priced favourite, but in the interests of the horse you can’t run her.
“She’ll go for the John Durkan now, she’ll get 7lb off the boys.”
(Credit At The Races)