Nicky Richards eyeing a Leopardstown return with Simply Ned

Samcro will miss the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle on Sunday

The inaugural Coral Dublin Chase at Leopardstown on February 3rd is the plan for Simply Ned following his first Grade One triumph over Christmas.

Nicky Richards' 11-year-old finally had his name up in lights in the Paddy's Rewards Club Chase after having placed three times in the same race at Leopardstown.

It was not straightforward, however, as Simply Ned was only awarded victory in the stewards' room after Min and Paul Townend denied him what looked a sure-fire winning run up the rail.

“It was a relief to finally land one with him,” Richards said. “He’s been knocking on the door long enough and if you keep knocking, they’ll get through at some stage.


“I don’t think there’s any doubt he wasn’t going to win, it’s just a little bit of a shame he couldn’t get through and get his nose in front.

"It would have been great for the old horse, but justice was done. The Irish stewards and everybody were great on the day. It will be back to Ireland in February if he's okay – that's the plan."

The new race forms part of the Dublin Racing Festival and is a two-mile-one-furlong Grade Two, in which Simply Ned must carry a 3lb penalty for his Grade One win.

Samcro will miss the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle on Sunday after producing a scope not totally to the satisfaction of connections.

The much-talked-about six-year-old has looked an exciting prospect in winning his two starts over hurdles and was one of eight of the 15 possibles representing owners Gigginstown House Stud and trainer Gordon Elliott.

“Gordon called me a short while ago and told me the horse scoped ordinary. He now won’t run,” said Gigginstown’s racing manager Eddie O’Leary. “It’s not a bad scope. Hopefully he’ll run at the winter festival in Leopardstown [in February]. We’ve got plenty in it [at Naas], so we’ll run what we can on Sunday.”

Having been installed as the odds-on favourite when the race was priced up on Tuesday, Samcro had been overtaken at the head of the ante-post market by the Willie Mullins-trained Next Destination, who was an easy winner of the Grade Two Navan Novice Hurdle last month.