It’s fascinating to see Cheltenham Festival’s biggest hype horse SAMCRO entered in next month’s Irish Champion Hurdle, given it’s highly unusual to pitch a novice into Grade 1 open company.
Connections must smell blood after Faugheen recently bombed out of the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown, blowing open the two-mile hurdling division in Ireland.
Though he is also entered in the longer-distance novice hurdle at that meeting, and is shortest in the betting for the middle-distance Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, Gigginstown – his owners – must fancy his chances of being effective over the minimum trip.
If they do run him in the Irish Champion Hurdle, and he wins, that’ll throw a huge spanner in the ante-post markets for both the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Champion Hurdle in March, where he trades 16/1 and 50/1 respectively.
He wasn’t included in the Champion Hurdle entries so it’s fairly safe to presume that he would be aimed at the former – and that makes the 16/1 look huge.
This horse looks like a freak; he’s unbeaten in six starts and has shown devastating speed to win those by a huge aggregate lengths margin, and I don’t really understand the disparity in the price between his Cheltenham assignments, as he’s just 2/1 for the Ballymore.
I feel that’s sound logic for an ante-post poke at the opener in March.
1pt ante-post win Samcro @16/1, Supreme Novices’ Hurdle