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Samcro still has the Galway Plate lined up - and could wear headgear

Samcro: will be aimed at the Galway Plate
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Samcro is still on course for a crack at the Galway Plate later this summer despite a lethargic effort at Listowel on Monday and connections are toying with the idea of putting some headgear on the dual Cheltenham Festival winner.

The three-time Grade 1 winner proved a disappointing favourite in the 2m3f chase at Listowel, beaten 25 lengths into sixth by Darasso, but Gigginstown racing manager Eddie O'Leary was not too deflated by the display and insisted all roads still led to Galway.

Watch Samcro win the 2020 Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival after a thrilling tussle with Melon and Faugheen

O'Leary said: "Samcro is grand and he scoped clean after the race, which was a positive. It was a stronger race than we anticipated at Listowel and it was the minimum trip he needs nowadays. He made a mistake down the back and that was that.

"He seemed to sulk a little after he made the mistake, so I wouldn't rule out some form of headgear being put on him, maybe some cheekpieces. We'll see what Sneezy [Foster] thinks."

Samcro: winning under Keith Donoghue at Down Royal

When asked whether the Galway Plate was still on the agenda, O'Leary replied: "Oh, definitely. His whole summer has been geared towards Galway and nothing has changed. He has been trained with that race in mind."

Gigginstown's colours have been carried to victory in the Galway Plate four times in the last seven years through Road To Riches (2014), Lord Scoundrel (2016), Balko Des Flos (2017) and Clarcam (2018).

Since storming away with the Ballymore in 2018 when appearing to have the world at his feet, Samcro's form has been in and out and he has not been easy to train.

He has won three of his last 13 races, most notably a thrilling 2020 Marsh Novices' Chase at Cheltenham.

Read more:

'It was heartbreaking' – trainer's heroic efforts to care for injured horse

'I've given the others a head start' – Harry Cobden raring to go after injury

Rossa Ryan to miss Royal Ascot after having operation to treat appendicitis

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His whole summer has been geared towards Galway
E.W. Terms