All eyes were on Irish hotpot Samcro in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, which kicked off day two of the Cheltenham Festival, and the Gordon Elliott-trained star produced a fine performance to win the Wednesday opener, and showed that he was the next potential superstar in the National Hunt division.
Kept wide for most of the race, Jack Kennedy had a little scare down the back straight, as he had to deal with a flapping hurdle in front of him, but as the likes of Next Destination and Duc De Denievres failed to put any pressure on the hotpot, it appeared to be Vision De Flos that would be the toughest of opponents.
But, Kennedy soared to the front turning for home, and Samcro kicked a few lengths clear, and while Black Op put up a fight, and was closing in the finish, along with Next Destination, who is sure to enjoy a step up in trip, the race was all about Samcro, who sent favourite backers into raptures with a fine display.
13:30 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered as The Baring Bingham)
1.Samcro - G Elliott - J Kennedy - 8/11f
2.Black Op - T George - N Fehily - 8/1
3.Next Destination - W Mullins - R Walsh - 4/1