Ruby Walsh: Samcro has to improve to trouble Buveur D’Air at Cheltenham

He had a bird's eye view of Samcro's defeat at Down Royal and the Paddy Power ambassador breaks it down for PP News ...

Ruby Walsh & Gordon Elliott


Samcro will have to improve 12lb or 13lbs to trouble Buveur D’Air in the Champion Hurdle on the evidence of his Down Royal performance.

He still has the potential to be a Champion Hurdler, but I don’t really know what to make of his defeat at Down Royal.

My mount Sharjah and the eventual winner Bedrock had fitness on their side last week. It rode like a good race in what was a good time, when you compare it to the other two-mile contest on the card.

While Sharjah and Bedrock are good yardsticks, you were left thinking that Buveur D’Air would have beaten them.

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They went a really good gallop at Down Royal and Samcro – even lacking that race-hard fitness the others had – did to Sharjah again what he’d done to him all last season.

He was a superior novice hurdler to Sharjah and was better than him last Friday. His next run is due to be the Morgiana Hurdle on Sunday week and that should be a very informative contest.

Samcro will have the fitness edge this time on all of Willie Mullins’ entries and Jessica Harrington’s Supasundae.

There’s no doubt that Samcro will improve a hell of a lot for his first the run and obviously if he wins the Morgiana Hurdle his price will contract for the Festival.

We should have a more realistic view of his Champion Hurdle claims at Christmas when everyone has a run and meets on level terms.

However, at this moment in time, the happiest people leaving Down Royal would have been Buveur D’Air’s connections.

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