Samcro has fitness to flourish in Newcastle

Samcro and Jack Kennedy. Picture: Healy Racing

Some say Samcro disappointed at Down Royal, where he was picked off by the fitter Bedrock (Rachael Blackmore), but Kennedy won’t be hanging around today, writes Ruby Walsh

I’m in Fairyhouse this afternoon, but today is all about two races in the UK: the Ladbrokes Trophy is a prestigious race, but the biggest story for national hunt racing today is the Fighting Fifth Hurdle in Newcastle.

With the exception of Supasundae and whatever Willie Mullins has, this is, effectively, the Champion Hurdle. You have the reigning Champion Hurdler, Buveur D’air, taking on the winners of the two main novice hurdle races from last season’s Cheltenham Festival.

There are a hundred ways to look at it, but this is my reading of it. Summerville Boy was very good in winning the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival, but in this company he will not get away with jumping the way he did that day. To win that race with the way he jumped tells us he must have a huge amount of natural ability, but his jumping has to improve considerably and so I’m happy enough to go against him.

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