Samcro stylishly maintained his 100 per cent record in the Grade One Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Gordon Elliott's great white hope was sent off the 4-6 favourite, despite dropping back down to two miles, but the result was never in doubt.

There was no great pace early doors as Patrick Mullins went to the front on Real Steel, but the likes of Paloma Blue and Sharjah were pulling hard.

Plenty still held a chance as the big field turned into the straight, but young jockey Jack Kennedy looked to have everything covered on the hot favourite.

Paloma Blue escaped from the pack and gave Samcro something to chase but Elliott's inmate showed plenty of gears and easily went clear by five and a half lengths.

The inexperienced Duc Des Genievres stayed on nicely to claim second for Willie Mullins, with Paloma Blue holding on for third.

A delighted Elliott said: "The horse was great. I'm delighted with him and Jack gave him a great ride.

"He's opened up a lot of doors and I'd say we can go any road with him now. He's a good horse and we're lucky to have him.

"Nothing fazes him at all. He just does what he has to do - eats, sleeps and drinks. He was never out of his comfort zone - a bit like myself.

"He was bought to be a big three-mile chaser, and that's what he is, but, to be honest, he showed a lot of class there and he could be anything.

"I don't know where we'll go at Cheltenham, I'll have to ask the boys and see.

"Coming here I would have said we'd be going for the Ballymore but the way he done that, I'd say he could go for any race."

Commenting on the race, jockey Kennedy said: "He couldn't do any more. He jumped great and travelled well.

"It doesn't really matter what you do with him. He's a dream to ride. He settles away and he's always there whenever you want him.

"He's a pleasure to ride. All going well, we'll try and get to Cheltenham in one piece and look forward to it."