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Is the Star Novice Samcro a Future Gold Cup Winner?Posted on Monday 12th March 2018 @ 16.09

From the start of his career, Samcro has been held in the highest regard by connections and trainer Gordon Elliott.

He was bought by Gigginstown house stud in October 2016 following a move from Colin Bowe for £335,000. He won a point-to-point, resulting in his early connections believing they already had something special. His jockey that day was leading amateur Barry O’Neill, who stated that he believes the "star novice is a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner in the waiting and you never ride a horse like him that just has it all".

Some bookmakers were already offering under 10/1 that the horse would win the Cheltenham Gold Cup before 2023, even though he had barely made a start under rules.

The six-year-old made two impressive first season bumper starts at short odds of 1/3 and 8/13. The second by 17 lengths, however he was saved from the major end of season bumper races; which meant he came into the season slightly under the radar. This season, his performances have further enhanced his reputation as being one of the most exciting prospects around.

He went to Punchestown for an early season maiden hurdle in October and won on the bridle by 15 lengths from Mind’s eye. The latter then went onto win his next start before winning a competitive handicap, further enhancing his form.

Samcro then made his next start at the end of November, beating a decent field in the Monksfield Novice Hurdle (Grade 3) without coming off the bridle, indicating he was destined for the top spot. One of the rising talents in Irish racing is Jack Kennedy, who was also the rider for the star novice. He has already ridden top horses such as Apple’s Jade, but he claims "Samcro is something different, he is the best I’ve ridden".

The next step for the horse was at the top level, where he needed to hold his form on the track instead of being stuck as the relative hype horse. He was sent off as the 4/6 favourite to beat a stacked field in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle that included the highly impressive Sharjah. The Mullins team stated "that no horse should be odds on to beat Sharjah", with many people believing that this would be the first time Samcro tasted defeat.

Samcro again put in a devastating performance, pulling clear on the bridle and only having to be pushed out to win by five-and-a-half lengths from the Mullins trained Duc Des Genievres. Check out the video below to see just how impressive the novice was...

Video Clip

Following this incredibly impressive performance, Samcro went into clear favouritism for all the novice races at the Cheltenham festival. Many people looking to bet on Cheltenham races were supporting the horse in all non-runner no bet to try and get the value. Samcro's connections have confirmed he will be running on day two in the Ballymore Novice Hurdle where Betfair offer best price 4/5 for the son of Germany to remain unbeaten.

The latest tips for runners at Cheltenham 2018 all include Samcro and he heads to Prestbury Park as the Irish banker for most. The Cheltenham festival will be the first time the horse has travelled and he will be running on much better ground than he has previously, but all being said he looks unbeatable if he runs on form.

The future of the horse clearly lies over fences as he seems tailor-made for it, so everything he does this season is just a bonus. If he comes through this season with his reputation intact he is definitely the one young horse to really get excited about ahead of the 2019 season. He would likely tackle the RSA Chase in his first season as a novice chaser and look to follow in the footsteps of Might Bite to triumph and then go on for Gold Cup glory the following season.

Samcro is extremely exciting and looks to have a huge amount of ability, so the future is clearly bright but as his trainer recently stated "the hype needs to stop, he’s only a horse”. He now must go to Cheltenham and land the odds, so March 14th cannot come soon enough for racing fans.

Article Posted on Monday 12th March 2018 @ 16.09

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