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.

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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.