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He's back! Samcro returns to winning ways in An Riocht Chase thriller

Samcro and Jack Kennedy win the Grade 3 An Riocht Chase at Killarney
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If Samcro faced a long road to redemption, as Eddie O’Leary suggested last week, then the dual Cheltenham Festival winner cut that journey considerably shorter by bouncing back to form in the Grade 3 An Riocht Chase at Killarney on Monday evening.

In doing so, Samcro put behind him disappointing efforts in the Savills Chase and Ryanair Chase, recapturing his old spark to notch a first success since the Marsh Novices' Chase at Cheltenham in 2020.

There were no Gold Cup quotes bandied about afterwards for the horse who once promised the world, but the manner in which Samcro stuck his head down under Jack Kennedy and battled to beat Cilaos Emery by a neck showed the fire had not been extinguished just yet.

Kennedy said: “I thought I was beaten coming down to the last but he battled back very well. We haven’t seen that since he won the Marsh at Cheltenham, so it’s great to see.”

The rider added: “He was off the bridle early in the straight but he stuck at it very well, so we’re pleased with that. The ground is nearly yielding on the chase course and I think he’d like it even better than that.

“I think he could have a nice summer campaign because he wants nice ground. He beat a good horse there in Cilaos Emery – it’s good to have him back.”

Samcro could be heading to the Galway Plate later in the summer and Monday’s win was the tenth of his career.

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