Trainer Gordon Elliott hints at Ballymore


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Trainer Gordon Elliott has confirmed the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival next month is still the preferred option for connections of Samcro.

The six-year-old is 1.80 favourite for the race after his stunning performance in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown last week.

He beat the likes of Duc Des Genievres, Paloma Blue and Whiskey Sour on his way to victory in the two-mile contest.

Samcro has now won every race of his career after making his debut in 2016 at Punchestown.

The chestnut gelding, who has not yet raced anywhere but Ireland, will make the trip to Prestbury Park next month.

The 2m5f Ballymore had been viewed as his most likely destination but still holds entries in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle over three miles and the Supreme over two.

However, Elliott confirms plans are in place to run in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle against the likes of On The Blind Side and Next Destination.

“He’s good,” he said. “He’ll go straight to Cheltenham now anyway. Everybody probably knows that the Ballymore is where I’d say he’s going to go at the moment. We’ll let the horse do the talking and Cheltenham is the plan now.”

On The Blind Side is 6.00 to win, with Next Destination priced at 7.00 while Getabird is available at odds of 8.00.

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