Samcro To Miss Cheltenham As Santini Faces Race Against Time

Superstar novice hurdler Samcro was rumoured to be back from his lung infection just in time for Cheltenham but has just fell short of time and won't travel over from Ireland says trainer Gordon Elliott.

Last year's winner at the festival in the first race on the Wednesday, the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices Chase, was suspected to line up in the Stayers Hurdle on the Thursday of the festival at a best price of 15/2 but instead will be saved for the Grand National meeting at Aintree.

He becomes another late edition to the talented role of honour that will miss the four days at Prestbury Park with Joseph O'Brien's Le Richebourg who was favourite for the Arkle and last years Stayers Hurdle winner Penhill.

Another horse that could have potentially missed the festival but is fighting to be fit enough to run is Santini for trainer Nicky Henderson who currently sits near the top of the market for the RSA Chase.

After losing a shoe when on the gallops on Sunday at Newbury and has since returned lame and still sore which are not good signs for the chaser and his trainer.

However, Henderson did send this video out on social media earlier saying that he was back out and about today with his mind set on the RSA.

(Credit @sevenbarrows)

On the other hand Samcro is not that lucky and after failing to land any of his three races this season he was hoping for the chance to redeem himself at Cheltenham after recovering from a nasty lung infection that seemed to be the source of his bad runs.

However, after getting him back to nearly where they wanted him to be Cheltenham looked a serious event for the Gigginstown owned gelding but his trainer thinks it has just come a little to early.

(Credit Racing Post) Elliott said: Samcro worked with some of our other Cheltenham horses at Navan today and we decided afterwards it is going to come a bit too soon for him. 

"He won't be travelling and we'll look at the two-and-a-half-mile Grade 1 hurdle at Aintree and also the Punchestown festival for him.

"Looking further ahead, we are looking forward to when he goes chasing in the autumn."

This saw the bookmakers trimming favourite Paisley Park into a top-priced 7-4 for the Stayers' Hurdle, with Faugheen at 9-2 and Supasundae 8-1.

This contest has now gone from one of the strongest and unpredictable at the festival to a near banker at the festival with the favourite getting shorter and shorter in the ante-post markets.