Samcro is “very, very doubtful” to race in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival but will still be given an entry to the race, according to a report on Sky Sports.

He failed to fire for the third time this season and was thoroughly tested. The results showed nothing unfamiliar but he is still not expected to run.

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The seven-year-old is to be given the option of running at the Festival just in case but manager Eddie O’Leary confirmed that they will take their time with him and be patient.

He said:

He’ll be kept in the Champion Hurdle in case things go real well. But we’re looking at the longer picture.

He is very, very, very doubtful for Cheltenham. He won’t be rushed. He’ll come back in his own sweet time – and if he doesn’t this season, he’ll be let off. He was always going to go chasing next season regardless.

It will be a real surprise if Samcro was to run again this season.