Gordon Elliott hoping for rain ahead of Samcro's Morgiana bid

Wed 14 Nov 2018

Gordon Elliott is hoping there is enough rain to enable him to run Samcro in the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown on Sunday.

Despite 32 millimetres having fallen at the track since Friday, the going is still only good, good to yielding in places.

Elliott is keen to run Samcro, who was surprisingly beaten on his return to action at Down Royal by Bedrock, and that would mean a possible clash with the likes of Faugheen and Supasundae.

Relive Samcro's victory in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at the Festival

However, the forecast is not looking favourable at this stage.

Elliott said: “He’s come out of his race very well and he worked well this morning, but he’d need a bit of rain. If the ground was too quick, we wouldn’t take a chance on him so we’re hoping for rain between now and then.

“In fairness, Punchestown, Fairyhouse, Naas, they all do a brilliant job, but the one thing you wouldn’t want them to do is put too much water on. You want the ground to be safe, but to let Mother Nature do what she can do.”

While Elliott would not be keen on any watering, Punchestown officials have not ruled it out.

“We’ve had over 32 millimetres of rain since last Friday and that has left our ground as good, good to yielding in places on both the hurdle and chase tracks,” said Shona Dreaper, PR and communications manager at Punchestown.

“We don’t have a whole lot of rain forecast between now and the weekend, so we will monitor the situation and if areas need it, we will throw a bit of water on it just to make sure we deliver it as good.

“The Morgiana is traditionally usually the race that kicks off the National Hunt season proper and often attracts the seasonal debuts from these Champion Hurdle contenders or current champion hurdlers, so we are really looking forward to seeing Samcro and Supasundae from Jessie Harrington’s yard.

“Willie Mullins is going for eight consecutive wins in a row in the race, so he will be well represented as always.”

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