Next Race Newspaper
Free Bets
My Account

Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Sizzling Samcro gives Kennedy 'best feel I've ever got from a horse'

Samcro and Jack Kennedy jump the last in the Monksfield Novice Hurdle
1 of 1

The only debate now is which race to target at the Cheltenham Festival. Samcro showed how special he is by hammering seven previous winners in the Grade 3 Monksfield Novice Hurdle, thus silencing the diminishing band of doubters and prompting Betfair to make him 5-2 favourite from 9-2 for the Ballymore Properties Novices' Hurdle in March.

The performance had Jack Kennedy purring. "That's definitely the best feel I've ever got from a horse," said the winning rider, whose smile could linger until he leaves his teens.

Samcro seems to have enough speed for two miles and sufficient stamina for three, but both trainer Gordon Elliott and Kennedy suggested that trips in between will be on the agenda for the unbeaten son of Germany, who is likely to be seen next in the Grade 1 Lawlor's Hotel Novice Hurdle over 2m4f at Naas on January 7.

"We always thought he was very good but that was a bit special. What he did out there was class," said Elliott. "I don't know if we'll run him at Christmas, we might wait for the Grade 1 at Naas in January [Lawlor's Hotel]. He's obviously a horse for next year so anything he does this year will be a bonus.

"Jack said he pulled him out to give him a bit of daylight at the third-last and he just took off. It was nice to see he could do that as he was stepping up from two to two and a half miles. We have loads of options.

"The one worry I had was that it was his first time on real, real heavy ground but most good horses go on any ground. He looks like a real nice one and we are lucky to have him. He looks good."

Is Samcro the real deal? Our analysts give their verdicts

Quite simply, it was flawless from Samcro. He settled beautifully, jumped perfectly and quickened effortlessly to put 12 lengths between himself and runner-up Jetz. The winning margin could have been double that had Kennedy so wished.

The jockey added: "That was unreal. Everything comes naturally to him. He relaxed and jumps great. He took off from underneath me at the third-last. He's a very natural jumper and you can just leave it to him. He's always there when you want.

"He'll get further but I would stick to two and a half with him. I'd say it doesn't really matter what you do with him. He's a fair horse."

Paddy Power responded by cutting Samcro to 11-4 (from 4-1) for the Ballymore. He is also favourite in many lists for the shorter Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle, with BoyleSports going 8-1 for that race and 3-1 for the Ballymore.

Monksfield Hurdle result

Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on


We always thought he was very good but that was a bit special. What he did out there was class

Key data

E.W. Terms
Sky bet