Pic Source:  https://cheltenham-bet.co.uk/news/2018-cheltenham-festival-horses-to-follow-samcro/

When looking at the current novice chase scene there is one name that continues to be mentioned at the top of the pile and that is Samcro. The six year old Chestnut gelding has had a tall reputation since day one and is held in the highest regard from his trainer. This is shown in the fact he has started at odds on in all five of his starts with the highest price to date being 8/13.

Following a highly impressive point to point success he was snapped up by current connections Gigginstown House stud for a fee of £335,000. A high price tag for a horse with just the one start but this looks to have been a good move even at this early stage. Samcro quickly established himself as a top prospect in winning his 3 bumper races but was not aimed at the festival race due to connections feeling it is too early and can ruin horses.

Samcro made his debut this season in a maiden hurdle at Punchestown at prohibitive odds of 1/5 but won with ease not having to come off the bridle by 15 lengths. At the time it looked like he had beat nothing but the second Mind’s eye hacked up in a maiden and then followed up in winning a competitive handicap at Leopardstown. Taking this into context Samcro could just be the next future star of National hunt racing.

Rising Jockey Kennedy was aboard his recent success and is already comparing the horse to the stables previous Gold cup winner Don Cossack which speaks for itself. This is further backed up by his previous Jockey O’Neill from his bumper season who also says ‘Samcro is definitely the best horse I’ve ridden’. With all these sentiments it is no surprise Samcro already looks to be one of the bankers come the festival in March. The now named Ballymore Novices hurdle on day two looks the likely target with Paddy Power going 2/1 about the horse doing the business.

For such a young and inexperienced horse his reputation is already huge and it will be a shock to many if he is beaten anytime soon with people already talking about future Gold cup success. Paddy Power’s Gold cup betting market is offering 10/1 that the novice goes on to emulate the stables former Gold cup star Don Cossack which just goes to show the regard the horse is held in from not just the connections involved.

The only person who seems to be downplaying the hype of the horse is Gigginstown stud owner Michael O’Leary. He has branded the hype around the horse as ‘rubbish’ claiming he still has a long way to go. However, this comes as no surprise as the same connections horse Death Duty went to Cheltenham last year with a fairly similar reputation but failed to fire. O’Leary is clearly taking caution and would rather the horse do the talking on the track. Samcro is set to take his next step up on the road to Cheltenham this weekend and further enhance is already high reputation among the novice ranks.