Tattersalls Top Right

Pointers on Track

Samcro back to winning ways over fences in Grade 1 Marsh Novices' Chase

Very impressive early in the season at Down Royal, Samcro returned to the winners' enclosure to secure his second career Cheltenham success.

Settled early on in mid-division in the hands of Davy Russell, the son of Germany looked to be travelling well throughout before taking closer order before the turn in to the straight.
In a gruelling finish with Melon, Russell's charge showed a very tough attitude to dig deep and fend off Melon by a nose with the veteran Faugheen just a further length back in third.
This result brought to tally to seven of point-to-point graduates to win at this year's festival.
Samcro won a four-year-old maiden at Monksgrange on debut in 2016 for handler Colin Bowe and jockey Barry O'Neill, before subsequently changing hands for £335,000 at the 2016 Grand National Sale to Gordon Elliott.
The admiral veteran, Faugheen ran a blinder to finish third.

Unsurprisingly, Gordon Elliott was delighted with the performance and said:  "Samcro is the forgotten horse. He is one the favourites in the yard and we love him.
"Samcro was in the doldrums for a while and had lost his way, so it means a lot to get him back to win another G1 at Cheltenham.
"You can see how much it means to everyone in the yard. All the girls and Jack Madden who looks after him everyday, have done all the hard work with this horse.
"They have spent day and night trying to get this horse right. He hasn't been scoping clean and it has been hard to get him to scope right - thankfully it has paid off today.
"It is great. Everyone was knocking him when he was in the doldrums - I probably lost a bit of faith in him myself. The horses are flying and all running well, I just can't believe it.
"As you know, we've built a new stable for Samcro and he lives outside.
"I thought he had just got there on the line. Davy said that he missed the second-last and he was on the back-foot, so it was great to see him win.
"It was a great race to watch with Melon, Faugheen and Samcro battling it out, it is what we are all here for.
"He's had his issues, but he was right today and it was job done. Jack Madden said to me this week that he hadn't been this well since the Ballymore and he has looked better everyday.
"I'm delighted for the team, it's a great effort from everyone and all of the team back home will enjoy this as well.
"It was a great feeling for him to win. Just to have him back is brilliant."

Winning rider Davy Russell added: "He missed the second-last, winged the last and was going to go ahead and win. Patrick's horse battled very gamely and I thought he just chinned me - he actually headed me and, to be fair to my horse, he is so game. He is as brave as a lion and he got back up with the last stride.
"Credit has to go to Gordon and everybody involved. As much as everyone in the yard put in huge effort with this horse, Gigginstown let it happen, so they take huge credit for it.
"He was always very liked. He is a very placid horse with a great attitude who is always trying to please you. It was very confusing the way he wasn't maybe running at his best but Gordon always felt that the fire still burned in him - he just had to manipulate a couple of things. There are no set rules with Gordon and that's the beauty of him.
"It was very straightforward. I got a nice position and he was jumping fantastic. He was doing everything that I wanted him to, he was handling the track and the ground.

"He travelled really well into the straight and down to the second-last, when I got in underneath it and there was no stride there. I just had to keep the momentum up and he missed it. I felt, the minute I landed, he was back on it fighting again.

"From a long way back at the last, I knew we had a good stride and he winged it, landed, and battled all the way up the hill. I know he is still a novice, but he is a professional novice.
"He was really focused on winning the race as much as I was. Patrick was going for everything and I was going for everything, I knew there was something coming but I wasn't sure what it was. I knew that we had to get maximum effort and, to be fair to the horse, he gave it everything he had."

Search News


Second time lucky for Big Girl Betty

Having finished second in the 2023 edition of the Dennison JCB Maiden Hunter Chase, Big Girl Betty went one place better for John Barry and Mark McNiff. 

Private Ryan continues upward trajectory in Downpatrick feature

The seven-year-old backed-up his Punchestown Festival victory by overhauling Gorthill on the climb to the line. 

Weekend Going Report | 25th - 26th May 2024

The latest going update for this week is available here following the IHRB 48-hour course inspection.


Membership of P2P.ie provides access to an extensive range of additional point-to-point content and features, exclusive only to P2P.ie members.


Already a member? Sign in

/* * * Google Analytics & cookie banner * */