Samcro team facing up to a season without their tainted star
Gigginstown racing manager Eddie O’Leary is resigned to the fact this season is likely to be a write-off for Samcro following his bitterly disappointing effort in the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown behind Sharjah.
O’Leary revealed the Gordon Elliott-trained hurdler will undergo a number of tests in order to get to the bottom of whatever is hindering last season’s outstanding novice, but conceded he is unlikely to be a factor for the rest of this season.
Samcro has reportedly shown no ill effects from Saturday’s race and O’Leary said: “We’re going to give him a couple of days and then he’ll go to the vets for a full MOT and we’ll try to find something wrong with him. I’d say this year will pass us by unfortunately. We just need to try and get him right.
“We’ll probably give him a gallop with a scope on him and do a few other things. We’ll leave that to the vets, that’s their job. Touch wood he seems fine this morning.”
He added: “The Samcro of this year compared to the Samcro of last year is a vastly different animal. We’ll go through him with a fine-tooth comb but nothing will show up for a week or more because you can’t rush these things.”
O’Leary called for Samcro's conqueror Sharjah to get the credit he deserves and said he was delighted for the Willie Mullins camp.
He said: “We need to acknowledge Sharjah, who won the race fair and square. The story shouldn’t be about how we got beat, it should be about Sharjah and the fantastic achievement of Patrick [Mullins] yet again.
"Time and time again he pulls it out of the fire – he even won the trainers' championship for Willie a couple of seasons ago – and he’s just a smashing young fellow. He’s bright and he’s a terrific rider. We’re thrilled for them, genuinely thrilled.”
There was also a positive bulletin on Savills Chase third Road To Respect, who ran a cracker for Noel Meade and Sean Flanagan considering he stumbled twice on the turn for home.
“He’s okay,” O’Leary said. “A bit stiff and sore after the race but OK. It’s hard to go to Cheltenham off the back of bad runs so he’ll go back to Leopardstown for the Unibet Irish Gold Cup along with Shattered Love, who found the ground too firm in the Savills."
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