The Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle saw Ireland’s most-hyped horse, Samcro, build on his already impressive reputation when easily winning the third race on Day 2 of the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown.
Samcro, with Jack Kennedy on board, travelled very well throughout the race, taking the lead at the second last flight of hurdles, and moved ahead at his ease for a comfortable five and a half lengths victory.
Gordon Elliott’s six-year-old now has a record of seven successive wins as he heads to the Cheltenham Festival next month as the banker for many Irish punters, though his choice of race – either the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle or the Ballymore Novice Hurdle – is still to be confirmed. His trainer stated a preference post race, however, for avoiding Willie Mullins’ Getabird.
Winning owner, Michael O’Leary, stated that he expects the horse to improve even more:
“He ran well, jumped well, and will come on for the run. He got a lovely ride from Jack – I’m bricking myself every time he runs that he’ll take a fall or something will happen! But it’s nice to have one as good as him. We’ll have to keep the hype down now.”
Henry de Bromhead’s impressive young chaser, Monalee (11/4jf), got back to winning ways after his bad fall at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival, when winning the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase.
The seven-year-old made all the running, jumped well throughout, and then fought off a number of challengers at the last fence, before his bravery and determination saw off the Willie Mullins pair Al Boum Photo (9/1) and Invitation Only (7/2) respectively.
Speaking after the horse’s win, trainer Henry De Bromhead described how he felt:
“Delighted, absolutely delighted. He jumped brilliant and Noel was fantastic on him. Davy (Russell) couldn’t commit with Cheltenham in mind so Noel stepped in and we’ll rock on to Cheltenham now.”
Mr Adjudicator (3/1j2f) and Paul Townend took the Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle when the previously unbeaten Espoir D’allen (5/6f) paid for his early exertions, tiring to finish disappointingly.
Farclas and Mr Adjudicator surged clear on the home straight with Mullins’ four-year-old getting the better of the Gordon Elliott-trained runner up.
Winning jockey Paul Townend stated:
“We really didn’t hang around so he had to be brave at the last, and from there to the line.”