Elliott Considering Next Target For Samcro After John Durkan Withdrawal


Leading Irish trainer Gordon Elliott is weighing up his options for his dual Cheltenham festival winner Samcro having taken him out of the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown on Sunday with the ground being too testing for the eight year old.

The somewhat forgotten horse last season, Samcro will not be forgotten this season as the the one of a kind gelding for Gordon Elliott looks to have a big season ahead of him

The gelding was a superstar over hurdles landing the Grade One Ballymore Novices Hurdle at the 2018 Cheltenham festival and then since then went off the boil.

He was taken chasing and landed his debut over fences nicely before falling in the Grade One Drinmore Novices Hurdle when looking sure to make a challenge.

He was poor again in a Grade One behind Faugheen and he kept scoping wrong and looked to be a horse that could not come back to his best.

However, in the Marsh Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham festival it was him and Melon going to the line and in a head bob Samcro got the decision in what was one of the best races across the four day meeting.

The training performance by Elliott to get him to come back from some dreadful runs and looking like a horse who had completely lost his potential and ability, he can once again this season build off his second win at Prestbury Park now stepping out of novice company.

Back for another season, the Gigginstown House Stud owned horse finished a fair third in a Grade Two at Down Royal behind stablemate Battleoverdoyen.

Samcro could now step up to three miles at Leopardstown at Christmas, or run at Thurles in the Kinloch Brae Chase, with Elliott left to ponder which race he will run in at the Cheltenham festival.

(Credit ATR) “We might look at Leopardstown at Christmas for the Savills Chase – the ground could be better there,” said Elliott.

“The Kinloch Brae at Thurles is another option.”