Gordon Elliott quashed rumours Samcro will sidestep the BetVictor Fighting Fifth Hurdle by confirming his stable star “definitely runs” at Newcastle on Saturday.
Despite suffering a shock defeat on his seasonal reappearance at Down Royal earlier this month, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned six-year-old is a best-priced 9-2 second-favourite for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March behind dual winner and 5-2 favourite Buveur D’Air.
Connections of both horses have stated their intention to head to Gosforth Park for a mouthwatering early-season clash.
However, several bookmakers suspended betting on the Fighting Fifth on Wednesday morning following suggestions Samcro might not make the trip across the Irish Sea, with William Hill’s Rupert Adams saying: “It looks like there is a real chance that Samcro will not be going to Newcastle.”
However, speaking at Punchestown on Wednesday afternoon, Elliott insisted his charge was firmly on course for the weekend.
He said: “He worked well yesterday and is ready to go. He definitely runs (at Newcastle).
“Samcro is 100 per cent, and hopefully will travel in the morning at 8 o’clock. We are a bit nervous with the weather that he might not get out, so we are going a bit earlier.
“He worked very well yesterday morning.”
With most bookmakers reopening the market, Buveur D’Air is the 10-11 favourite ahead of Samcro at 9-4.