Gordon Elliott has confirmed that stable star Samcro is to remain over hurdles this season, with his campaign opening at Down Royal this week.

The six year old will return in the Grade 2 WKD Hurdle at Down Royal on Friday.

“I’ve spoken to Michael and Eddie O’Leary and we’ve decided to keep him over hurdles this season in the hope that he can develop into a Champion Hurdle contender,” Elliott told Betfair. “I’ve never had a Champion Hurdle horse before and Gigginstown have yet to win it and we thought that it was worth giving Samcro a shot at that race.

“He started off in point-to-points and when we bought him at Aintree he was bought as a future chaser and hopefully we will see him over fences in the future,” Elliott added. “As far as this season is concerned though he will be staying over hurdles and we are going to try to follow a path towards the Champion Hurdle.’’