Samcro will bid to maintain his unbeaten record, and enhance his sky-high reputation, when he takes on 13 rivals in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham on Wednesday.

The Gordon Elliott-trained six-year-old steps up in trip to two miles and five furlongs as he attempts to claim a seventh consecutive victory under rules and a second successive Grade One triumph following his victory in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at last month's Dublin Racing Festival.

The opposition is headed by fellow Grade One scorer Next Destination - one of four runners for trainer Willie Mullins, who also saddles Brahma Bull, Duc Des Genievres and Scarpeta.

Heading the English challenge is the Tom George-trained Black Op, who was second in Grade Two event at the track in January, and impressive Exeter Listed winner Vision Des Flos from Colin Tizzard's yard.

The field is completed by Ahead Of The Curve (Susan Corbett), Diablo De Rouhet (Jo Hughes), Gowiththeflow (Ben Pauling), Knight In Dubai (Dan Skelton), Mind's Eye (Henry de Bromhead) and the Fergal O'Brien-trained pair of Aye Aye Charlie and Coolanly.

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