Samcro Could Still Return At Cheltenham

Gordon Elliott's superstar novice hurdler of last season Samcro has been very disappointing this season and was thought to not race again but his trainer has not ruled out a return to the track.

The seven year old owned by Gigginstown House Stud was primed this season to head to the Cheltenham Festival and take on dual Champion Hurdler Buveur D'Air but after three poor runs this season it didn't look likely.

It was thought that Elliott would keep him at home for the rest of the year and look ahead to maybe go chasing next season but it has emerged that all might not be lost for this season as he still holds all his entries for the festival in March.

Samcro this season failed to pick up from where he left off last year when finishing a weak second on his seasonal debut at Down Royal and losing his unbeaten record when he finishes a race.

He then took on Buveur D'Air in there first ever meeting at Newcastle in the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth and the Nicky Henderson gelding showed his quality and blew Samcro out the water.

His third and last run to date so far this season saw him tailed off in a hot Grade 1 in the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown over the Christmas period where it was revealed after the race by the owners’ spokesman Eddie O’Leary announced a ‘very, very deep lung infection’ had been discovered.

With these less than impressive performances and his unfortunate setback if was thought that the superstar of last season would not be seen again this term but this might not be the case with his trainer keeping us on the edge of our seats.

(Credit Racing TV

He could still venture to the Cheltenham Festival where he was successful in the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices Hurdle, but he could also be seen at Aintree or Punchestown if missing a visit to Prestbury Park in March.

(Credit Sky Sports Racing) Elliott said: "Touch wood, he’s very good. He’s back in full work.

“He’ll do a bit of work at the end of this week, and we’ll see where we’re going. But I’m very happy with him.”

Asked if he if he was not ruling out him going to the festival he said: “Definitely not.

“We kept him in all the races at Cheltenham. Obviously, he’s in the Champion and still in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.”

Gigginstown and Elliott look to have sured up there number one contender for the Champion Hurdle this season with super mare Apple's Jade arguably the one to beat in that contest.

Elliott added some words on Samcro's festival challenge and said: “It’s not a definite no-no at the moment – we’ll see how the next couple of weeks go. But if not, we’ve got the Aintree Hurdle and Punchestown.

“The next 10 days will tell us.

“We’ve no target for him yet, but I’ve a couple of little things in my head – and I’ll see how the next couple of weeks go.”

Free Bets & Offers

🌟 Bet £5 & Get £30 in Bonuses 🌟
New Customers only. Deposit and place a £5 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 2x £10 Sports/Virtual Sports Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days, plus a £10 Casino Bonus, expires in 7 days. Wager the Casino Bonus 35x to withdraw winnings. Payment Cards only. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Claim Bonus
🙌 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH! 🙌
New customers only. Minimum odds 1/5 (1.2). If you place a multiple at least one selection must meet the min odds requirement. Max £20 refund. Only deposits made using Cards or Applepay qualify. Qualifying bet must be placed and settled within 30 days of account opening. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
Claim Bonus
When The Fun Stops. Stop.