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Sublime Samcro delivers in Ballymore

Sublime Samcro delivers in Ballymore

The hype was worth following, as Samcro, the big Irish banker for the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, delivered on everything that he had promised when landing the £125,000 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

Positioned wide in the hands of Jack Kennedy, the Germany gelding loomed large on the approach for the home straight, and the six-year-old went on soon after, with Kennedy kicking for home on the run to the final flight in the Grade 1 contest.

Loughanmore points winner Black Op, attempted to give chase over the final hurdle, however Samcro, who may well have idled up the Cheltenham run-in, was much too good, and was always in command up the famous hill to provide Gordon Elliott with his first success at the 2018 festival.

It was a famous result for point-to-point graduates, with the first three horses home in the 2m5f contest having all began their careers between the flags.

Samcro won his four-year-old maiden at Monksgrange in 2016 under Barry O’Neill for Colin Bowe, runner-up Black Op won his five-year-old maiden at Loughanmore a week earlier for Jason McKeown and Rodney Arthur, whilst Next Destination, who stayed-on late to claim the third sport in the Ballymore, won his four-year-old maiden at Quakerstown for Paul O’Neill and John Costello.

That Monksgrange four-year-old maiden really proved to be a notable piece of form at Cheltenham on Wednesday, as 40-minutes after Samcro won that Grade 1 £125,000 contest, Elegant Escape, the horse he had defeated at the Wexford points venue, came out and finished third in the Grade 1 RSA Chase.

Bought by Gigginstown House Stud at the Goffs UK Aintree sale following that Monksgrange success for £335,000, Samcro remains unbeaten and has now won seven races under rules including a brace of Grade 1 contests and is already close to the £200,000 mark in prize money.
 


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