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'A week or two too soon': Gordon Elliott confirms Samcro's Cheltenham absence

‘At the best of times you’ve got to be absolutely spot on for Cheltenham,’ the trainer said in his column for Betfair.

SAMCRO WILL NOT feature at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, trainer Gordon Elliott confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.

Writing in his column for Betfair, he explained that the festival – starting next Tuesday – has come “a week or two too soon”.

He said: “He’s in very good form and I am pleased with how he has been doing in his work over the last few weeks but Cheltenham is just going to come a week or two too soon.

At the best of times you’ve got to be absolutely spot on for Cheltenham and, while Samcro is in very good shape, myself, Michael and Eddie (O’Leary) feel that the right thing to do by the horse is to give him more time.”

Gordon Elliott Stable Visit - Cullentra House Samcro leads the way on the gallops at Gordon Elliott's yard at Cullentra House, County Meath. Source: Niall Carson

Samcro had been tipped to feature in the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle next week and was set to face a crucial fitness test on Wednesday.

Elliott described his chances at the time as ’50-50′ before today’s announcement, but the trainer did not rule out a return to the track in the coming weeks saying there were “suitable races for him at meetings [...] next month”.

Samcro’s absence will be a massive loss for Elliott, who’s dominant performance in last year’s festival saw him capture the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey to discuss the backlash to World Rugby’s league proposal, captaincy styles, sports psychology and more in The42 Rugby Weekly.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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