Thursday, 19 October 2017

Exciting Elliott duo Samcro and Death Duty lead quality Punchestown card

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Gordon Ellliot claims Samcro is a ‘star in the making’ as the exciting novice hurdler features in a star studded Punchestown Thursday card.

The five-year-old is currently unbeaten in four visits to the racecourse, winning a listed prize at Navan before capping off a solid bumper campaign with a 17 length triumph at Fairyhouse.

He remains one of Ireland’s most exciting prospects for the season ahead, and expectations are huge ahead of his hurdling debut in the Maiden Hurdle (2:05).

“Samcro was impressive when winning all three of his bumper starts last season,” Elliott told his website.

“He makes his debut over hurdles today and we definitely think he’s a star in the making. He’s been schooling well at home and looks a hard one to beat.”

Always thought to improve over obstacles, Elliott’s bullish comments haven’t gone unnoticed with bookmakers already installing Samcro as a 9-1 favourite for the Ballymore Novice Hurdle (formerly known as the Neptune). His odds of 1-5 today aren’t so appealing.

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Minella Rocco is another big name on the Punchestown card, he's priced at 16-1 for the Gold Cup and 20-1 for the Grand National

Elliott’s exciting novice chaser Death Duty seeks his second victory over fences in the Buck House Novice Chase (3:40).

The six-year-old, who was a Grade One winning hurdler last year, won by just under a length at Tipperary.

“He didn’t disappoint us when winning at Tipperary last time out,” said the master of Cullentra.

“He was almost travelling too well coming down to the last when he made a slight mistake but its all a learning curve for him.

“He came out of his race well and we are hoping for another big run from him today.”

Cheltenham Gold Cup second Minella Rocco also makes his racecourse return for Jonjo O’Neill, in the Irish Daily Star Chase (4:10).

The seven-year-old , who won the four mile National Hunt Chase at the Festival in 2016, chased home Sizing John in the feature race last year and targets a Grade Three prize on the card today.

Melling and Ryanair Chase second Sub Lieutenant is his main danger, whilst 2017 Festival winner Road To Respect and last year’s Lexus winner also take their chance.

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