Samcro extended his unbeaten record with a dominant display in the “Monksfield” Novice Hurdle at Navan and was made favourite for all three novice hurdles at the Cheltenham festival.

Samcro won at Navan by 12 lengths

Winning jockey Jack Kennedy has insisted “That was unreal. Everything comes naturally to him. He relaxes and jumps great. I pulled him out to give him a look at the third-last and he was gone. He just took off. He added: “I’d say he’ll get further, but I’d probably be sticking to two-and-a-half.

Trainer Gordon Elliott has made it no top-secret of the regard in which he holds the five-year-old, who was bought for a colossal £335,000 by Gigginstown House Stud after impressively winning his only point-to-point.

Having won each of his three bumpers last season before making a successful hurdling debut at Punchestown in October, he was a prohibitively-priced 1/4 favourite stepped up to Grade Three level and the result was scarcely in doubt.

Jack Kennedy cut a confident figure throughout the two-and-a-half-mile contest and only had to let out an inch of rain for Samcro to pull clear between the final two flights.

He winged the last hurdle to seal a most impressive victory over Jetz, with another Elliott inmate, Delta Work, third.

Most bookmaking firms make him the 10/1 joint-favourite with Annamix for the Sky Bet Supreme over two miles, the 5/2 favourite for the Ballymore Novices Hurdle over 2m5f and the 8/1 favourite for the Albert Bartlett over three miles

It’s best not to jump the gun just yet as there is plenty of racing to be done from now till March.