Samcro Up For Buveur D'Air Battle At Newcastle in Fighting Fifth

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SAMCRO UP FOR BUVEUR D'AIR BATTLE AT NEWCASTLE IN FIGHTING FIFTH

Samcro is set to run in Newcastle’s Fighting Fifth, where he will line-up against dual champion hurdler, Buveur D’Air.

His trainer Gordon Elliott revealed he had no choice but to pull Samcro out of Sunday’s Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown, due to the quick conditions and the overall lack of rain.

The Jessica Harrington-trained Supasundae also avoided the Grade One race for the same reason, leaving a field of four, where the Willie Mullins-trained Sharjah went on to snatch victory from stable companion and former Champion Hurdler Faugheen, winning by seven lengths.

Elliott has since turned his attention towards Newcastle's December feature.

“The way I’m thinking is Newcastle, but I’ve got to speak to owners: Michael and Eddie (O’Leary).

“I’m disappointed I couldn’t run the horse, especially after Punchestown made such an effort – and the public want to see these horses," he said.

Lining up at Newcastle would result in an early season meeting with Buveur D'Air, who will be looking to win the race for the second successive time, on what will be his seasonal reappearance.

The outcome of the Morgiana on Sunday, did however give last year's Grand National winning training a renewed sense of belief, as Sharjah had previously finished five lengths behind Samcro, when beaten by Iain Jardine-trained Bedrock at odds-on in the WKD Hurdle on his seasonal return.

Elliott said: “In a way he got a boost with Sharjah winning, and it just shows the race at Down Royal wasn’t so farcical.

“He also probably won’t go for the Hatton’s Grace, because we’ve Apple’s Jade for that, so it makes sense to run him at Newcastle."

Trainer Tom George is very excited to be able to unleash his star hurdler and last seasons winner of the Supreme Novices Hurdle, Summerville Boy in the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth where he will have a chance to take on these two big boy hurdlers over 2 miles.

Summerville Boy's festival win was the first race of the four day meeting but was arguably the most exciting of the week just getting up on the line to land the spoils from Arkle favourite Kalashnikov.

(Credit At The Races) Tom George said: “He had a good summer, he’s been back in since the middle of July and since then we’ve been gradually stepping him up and he’s ready to go now.

“Hopefully it will be a good platform for the rest of the season.“

We had a few mistakes in the latter part of his races, but essentially he’s a good jumper. I think he’s got an unbelievable amount of talent, he was just looking around, so it’s greenness more than anything.“We’ve been happy with his schooling so I don’t see it being a problem.”

The Fighting Fifth is due to be run on the 1st of December at Newcastle, over the Champion Hurdle distance of two miles.

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