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Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
Grade 1, Cheltenham 13:30
£125,000 added, 4yo plus,
2m 5f 26y, Class 1    
Wednesday 14th March 2018

Odds-on favourite Samcro wins impressively from Black Ops

1 Samcro 8/11F
2 Black Op 8/1
3 Next Destination 4/1
14 ran Distances: 2¾l, 5l, nk
Time: 5m 18.20s (slow by 24.20s)

Samcro
© Racehorse Photos
Samcro
 
The talking horse of this year's Festival, the Gordon Elliott-trained Samcro justified the hype with a scintillating performance.
 
The 8/11 favourite was always well positioned throughout the two and a half mile contest and despite wandering towards the stands' side rail up the Cheltenham hill, the six-year-old son of Germany responded willingly to Jack Kennedy's urgings to score by two and three-quarter lengths over Tom George's Black Op (8/1) in second.
 
The Willie Mullins-trained Next Destination (4/1) stayed on strongly to finish a further five lengths behind in third.
 
Deemed the Irish banker of the week, there was plenty of pressure on Samcro and winning trainer Gordon Elliott was visibly delighted that he had lived up to the hype.
 
Elliott said: "With horses like this, there is lots of pressure on them delivering, but Samcro did it well and we can enjoy this now.
 
"We are very lucky to have him and I wouldn't be afraid to bring him back in trip. He has loads of pace and he only comes awake when the race starts to get going.
 
"Jack Kennedy said when got to the front, he pulled up again. It's great to have horses like this and I'm delighted for Michael O'Leary and all of our staff who work so hard.
 
"He's proved his class today and I do think he has the class and speed to stay over hurdles.
 
"Shane McCann rides Samcro out every day and knows him - he does all the work with him and I only train him. He does all the hard work. This is a big team effort that I have at home and it worked out great.
 
"There was a lot of pressure today - for Jack, for me and for the whole team - so I am delighted. He's a big idle devil and just does what he has to do."
 
"Michael likes having chasers so we'll have a chat before making any decision. He was bought to be a chaser but we'll talk about it.
 
"We had a rough day yesterday with Apple's Jade running below par and Mossback sadly losing his life, but in this game, you just have to pick your head up and go again."
 
Winning owner Michael O'Leary commented: "That was a brilliant ride from Jack Kennedy - he had him in the right place the whole way round - and a brilliant training performance from Gordon. That gets Gordon on the board for today. It is wonderful.
 
"There is still too much hype, but at least he has won in Cheltenham and is going the right way."
 
Samcro is 4/1 with Betway for the 2019 G1 RSA Chase and 16/1 for the 2019 Gold Cup. Paddy Power make Samcro 4/1 for the 2019 G1 JLT Novices' Chase.

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Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
(registered As The Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle)
£125,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 5f 26y, Class 1
14 ran
Going: Soft, Heavy in places

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Samcro (IRE) 8/11f J W Kennedy
11-7
G Elliott 6
2nd Black Op (IRE) 8/1 N D Fehily
11-7
T R George 7
3rd 5 Next Destination (IRE) 4/1 R Walsh
11-7
W P Mullins 6
4th nk Scarpeta (FR) 33/1 D E Mullins
11-7
W P Mullins 5
5th 1 Duc Des Genievres (FR) 10/1 P Townend
11-7
W P Mullins 5
6th ¾ Vision Des Flos (FR) 14/1 R M Power
11-7
C L Tizzard 5
7th 14 Aye Aye Charlie 100/1 Conor Shoemark
11-7
F O'Brien 6
8th s.h Gowiththeflow (IRE) 40/1 D A Jacob
11-7
B Pauling 5
9th Brahma Bull (IRE) 25/1 D J Mullins
11-7
W P Mullins 7
10th 9 Mind's Eye (IRE) 66/1 D N Russell
11-7
H de Bromhead 6
11th Diablo De Rouhet (FR) 200/1 M D Grant
11-7
J Hughes 5
12th Coolanly (IRE) 100/1 P J Brennan
11-7
F O'Brien 6
13th 16 Knight In Dubai (IRE) 100/1 Harry Skelton
11-7
D Skelton 5
PU   Ahead of The Curve (FR) 200/1 James Corbett
11-7
S Corbett 6

Mathematician Betting

Black Op finished second, beaten two and three-quarter lengths by the winner, odds-on favourite Samcro.
 
Black Op, an 8/1 chance, was trained by Tom George, who is enjoying a great Festival so far with one winner (Summerville Boy, Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle), a second place (Black Op) and a third (Rocklander in the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase).
 
George said: "I'm delighted. Black Op has bumped into an exceptional horse and he's the best this side of the Irish Sea, anyway! I'm very pleased with him and he's run a great race. I don't know if we will run him again this season; we'll have to see how he comes out of this.
 
"He has galloped all the way to the line and is going to make an unbelievable chaser next year. I think he has a big future. Roger Brookhouse has given me some lovely horses to train and we have two smashing horses in him and Summerville Boy.
 
"Noel [Fehily] said that he couldn't have changed anything and was beaten by a better horse on the day but he has put in a great run."
 
Jockey Noel Fehily said: "He ran a blinder and was beaten by a very good horse. If you'd said coming into the race that he would run that well and would only be beaten by Samcro, you'd have been happy."
          
Willie Mullins trained the third- and fourth-placed horses, Next Destination, who was ridden by Ruby Walsh, and Scarpeta (Danny Mullins).
 
He said: "I haven't spoken to Ruby yet, but I wonder did Next Destination lose his action? He and Scarpeta have both run fantastic races, though. Scarpeta really stayed on and was just very unlucky to get chinned on the line by Ruby and Next Destination.

Previous results - BALLYMORE NOVICES’ HURDLE

2017-WINNER-WILLOUGHBY COURT 6-11-07 Owner-Paul & Clare Rooney; Trainer-Ben Pauling; Jockey-David Bass; SP-14/1
2ND-Neon Wolf 7-11-07 Owner-Masterson Holdings Limited; Trainer-Harry Fry; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-2/1 Fav
3RD-Messire Des Obeaux 6-11-07 Owner-Simon Munir & Isaac Souede; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP-8/1
15 ran, Time-5m 8.80s, Dist-hd, 33⁄4

2016-WINNER-YORKHILL 6-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-3/1
2ND-Yanworth 6-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer Alan King; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-11/10 Fav
3RD-Its’afreebee 6-11-07 Owner-Rebel Jumping; Trainer-Dan Skelton; Jockey-Ian Popham; SP-33/1
11 ran, Time-5m 0.89s; Dist-1¾, 7

2015-WINNER-WINDSOR PARK 6-11-07 Owner-Dr Ronan Lambe; Trainer-Dermot Weld IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP-9/2
2ND-Parlour Games 7-11-07 Owner-Bloomfields; Trainer-John Ferguson; Jockey-A P McCoy; SP-13/2
3RD-Nichols Canyon 5-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-7/2 Fav
10 ran, Time-5m 7.40s; Dist-3¾, 1¼

2014-WINNER-FAUGHEEN 6-11-07 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-6/4 Fav
2ND-Ballyalton 7-11-07 Owner-John Westwood; Trainer-Ian Williams; Jockey-Will Kennedy; SP-20/1
3RD-Rathvinden 6-11-07 Owner-Ronnie Bartlett; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-11/2
15 ran, Time-4m 54.80s; Dist-4½, ½

2013-WINNER-THE NEW ONE 6-11-07 Owner-Sarah Such; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Sam Twiston-Davies; SP-7/2
2ND-Rule The World 5-11-07 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP-5/1
3RD-Pont Alexandre 5-11-07 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-6/4 Fav
8 ran, Time-5m 16.60s; Dist-4, 4½

2012-WINNER-SIMONSIG 6-11-07 Owner-Ronnie Bartlett; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-2/1 Fav
2ND-Felix Yonger 6-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-16/1
3RD-Monksland 5-11-07 Owner-Patricia Hunt; Trainer Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-11/2
17 ran, Time-4m 59.34s; Dist-7, 11

2011-WINNER-FIRST LIEUTENANT 6-11-07 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP- 7/1
2ND-Rock On Ruby 6-11-07 Owner-The Festival Goers; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP-13/2 3RD-So Young 5-11-07 Owner-Mrs M McMahon; Trainer Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-2/1 Fav
12 ran, Time-5m 10.50s; Dist-sh, 41⁄2

2010-WINNER-PEDDLERS CROSS 5-11-07 Owner-Tim Leslie; Trainer-Donald McCain; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-7/1
2ND-Reve De Sivola 5-11-07 Owner-Paul Duffy Diamond Partnership; Trainer-Nick Williams; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP-15/2
3RD-Rite Of Passage 6-11-07 Owner-Dr Ronan Lambe; Trainer-Dermot Weld IRE; Jockey-Mr Robbie McNamara; SP-7/2 Fav
17 ran, Time-5m 2.77s Dist-1½, 3¾

2009-WINNER-MIKAEL D'HAGUENET 5-11-07 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-5/2 Fav
2ND-Karabak 6-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-4/1
3RD-Diamond Harry 6-11-07 Owner-Paul Duffy Diamond Syndicate; Trainer-Nick Williams; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-4/1
14 ran, Time-5m 17.10s Dist-1¾, 3¾

2008-WINNER-FIVEFORTHREE 6-11-07 Owner-Olde Crowbars Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-7/1
2ND-Venalmar 6-11-07 Owner-Michael O’Flynn; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Paddy Flood; SP-11/1
3RD-Trafford Lad 6-11-07 Owner-Butler Family Syndicate; Trainer-Eamon Sheehy IRE; Jockey-Tom Doyle; SP-9/1
15 ran, Time-5m 2.20s Dist-nk, 4; 4/1 Fav Aigle D’Or (13th)

2007-WINNER-MASSINI’S MAGUIRE 6-11-07 Owner-Alan Peterson; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-20/1
2ND-Tidal Bay 6-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-10/1
3RD-Catch Me 6-11-07 Owner-J P O’Shea; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-7/1
15 ran, Time-5m 5.40s; Dist: nk, 1½; 5/2 Fav Aran Concerto (5th)

2006-WINNER-NICANOR 5-11-07 Owner-Des Sharkey; Trainer-Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-17/2
2ND-Denman 6-11-07 Owner-Paul Barber & Maggie Findlay; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/10 Fav
3RD-Refinement 7-11-00 Owner-Michael Tabor; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-11/2
17 ran, Time-5m 1.00s Dist: 2½, 6

2005-WINNER-NO REFUGE 5-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-17/2
2ND-Racing Demon 5-11-07 Owner-Camilla Radford; Trainer-Henrietta Knight; Jockey-Jim Culloty; SP-14/1
3RD-Our Ben 6-11-07 Owner-Trevor Hemmings; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-33/1
20 ran, Time-5m 00.00s Dist: ¾, 2½ 9/2 Jt Favs Gold Medalist (5th) & Royal Paradise (7th)

2004-WINNER-FUNDAMENTALIST 6-11-07 Owner-Gripen; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Carl Llewellyn; SP-12/1
2ND-Inglis Drever 5-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-7/4 Fav
3RD-Grey Report 7-11-07 Owner-Anne La Trobe; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-25/1
15 ran, Time-5m 1.90s, Dist-.5, 4

2003-WINNER-HARDY EUSTACE 5-11-07 Owner-Laurence Byrne; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Kieran Kelly; SP-6/1
2ND-Pizarro 6-11-07 Owner-Edward Wallace; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-2/1 Fav
3RD-Lord Sam 7-11-07 Owner-Plain Peeps; Trainer-Victor Dartnall; Jockey-Warren Marston; SP-10/1
Coolnagorna, finished 2nd, placed last for causing interference 19 ran, Time-5m 5.70s, Dist (as they passed the post)-1¼, 1

2002-WINNER-GALILEO 6-11-07 Owner-Sharon Nelson, Allan Stennett, Terry Warner; Trainer-Tom George; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-12/1
2ND-Over The Bar 6-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-14/1
3RD-Lanzerac 5-11-07 Owner-Cleartherm Ltd; Trainer-John Harris; Jockey-Paul Flynn; SP-66/1
27 ran; Time-5m 19.70s, Dist-3½, sh; 5/1 Fav Classified (4th)

2001-Cancelled (Foot and Mouth Disease)

2000-WINNER-MONSIGNOR 6-11-07 Owner-Malcolm Denmark; Trainer-Mark Pitman; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-5/4 Fav
2ND-No Discount 6-11-06 Owner-Seamus Ross; Trainer-Charlie Swan IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-20/1
3RD-Gentle Rivage 6-11-07 Owner-Geoffrey and Donna Keeys; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; SP-50/1
14 ran, Time-4m 52.0s, Dist-8,5

1999-WINNER-BARTON 6-11-07 Owner-Stan Clarke; Trainer-Tim Easterby; Jockey-Lorcan Wyer, SP-2/1 Fav
2ND-Artadoin Lad 6-11-07 Owner-Jim Shaw; Trainer-Jenny Pitman; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-28/1
3RD-Winston Run 7-11-07 Owner-Mr & Mrs John Poynton; Trainer-Ian Williams; Jockey-Glenn Tormey; SP-100/1
18 ran, Time-5m 5.6s, Dist-9, ½

1998-WINNER-FRENCH HOLLY 7-11-07 Owner-Kieran Flood; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Andrew Thornton; SP-2/1 Fav
2ND-Torboy 8-11-07 Owner-Paul Green; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-8/1
3RD-Cloone Bridge 6-11-07 Owner-Kathleen Gillane; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-8/1
18 ran, Time-4m 59.7s, Dist-14, 2½

1997-WINNER-ISTABRAQ 5-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-6/5 Fav
2ND-Mighty Moss 6-11-07 Owner-Ken Hutsby; Trainer-David Nicholson; Jockey-Mr Fred Hutsby; SP-11/1
3RD-Daraydan 5-11-07 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Richard Hughes; SP-16/1
17 ran, Time-4m 58.2s, Dist-1, ¾


NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES’ HURDLE ROLL OF HONOUR

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran

1996 Urubande 6-11-07 Charlie Swan Aidan O’Brien IRE Martin St Quinton 8/1 24
1995 Putty Road 5-11-07 Norman Williamson David Nicholson Lady Harris 7/1 21
1994 Danoli 6-11-07 Charlie Swan Tom Foley IRE Dan O’Neill 7/4F 23
1993 Gaelstrom 6-11-02 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies Jenny Powell 16/1 19
1992 Thetford Forest 5-11-07 Richard Dunwoody David Nicholson Saeed Manana 7/1 27
1991 Crystal Spirit 4-10-12 Jimmy Frost Ian Balding Paul Mellon 2/1F 29
1990 Regal Ambition 6-11-07 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe Skeltools Ltd 3/1F 22
1989 Sayfar’s Lad 5-11-07 Mark Perrett Martin Pipe Arthur Whiting 12/1 22
1988 Rebel Song 6-11-07 Simon Sherwood Oliver Sherwood Maggie Heath 14/1 25
1987 The West Awake 6-11-07 Simon Sherwood Oliver Sherwood Maggie Heath 16/1 28
1986 Ten Plus 6-11-07 Kevin Mooney Fulke Walwyn Basil Thwaites 5/2F 28
1985 Asir 5-11-07 Mr Ronnie Beggan Paul Kelleway HH Prince Yazid Saud 9/1 27
1984 Fealty 4-10-12 Seamus O’Neill Peter Brookshaw Peter Brookshaw 33/1 29
1983 Sabin Du Loir 4-10-08 Graham Bradley Michael Dickinson Brian Kilpatrick 16/1 27
1982 Mister Donovan 6-11-08 Tommy Ryan Edward O’Grady IRE J P McManus 9/2 21
1981 Gaye Chance 6-11-08 Sam Morshead Fred Rimell Mrs M Curtis 7/1 21
1980 Drumlargan 6-11-08 Tommy Ryan Edward O’Grady IRE Mary Cuddy 5/2F 27
1979 Venture To Cognac 6-11-08 Mr Oliver Sherwood Fred Winter Nat Sherwood 4/1 29
1978 Mr Kildare 5-11-07 Tommy Carmody Liam Browne IRE Owen Canty 8/11F 20
1977 Counsel Cottage 6-11-08 Sean Treacy Paddy Mullins IRE Lady Elizabeth Byng 6/1 26
1976 Parkhill 5-11-07 Dessie Hughes Mick O’Toole IRE Mrs J McGowan 4/1 21
1975 Davy Lad 5-11-07 Dessie Hughes Mick O’Toole IRE Mrs J McGowan 5/2F 20
1974 Brown Lad 8-11-08 Ron Barry Paddy Osborne IRE J Osborne 2/1F 25
1973 Willie Wumpkins 5-11-06 Pat Colville Adrian Maxwell IRE Jane Pilkington 11/1 15
1972 Even Dawn 5-11-06 Ron Hyett Katie Gaze Katie Gaze 40/1 17
1971 Midsprite 5-11-12 Macer Gifford Tom Jones Mrs Ogden Phipps 7/1 20

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