'It's phenomenal - Apple's Jade is only five and has already won five Grade 1s'
Courage and ability in spades. Five-time Grade 1-winner Apple's Jade is undoubtedly one of the leading ladies of jump racing. While the Cheltenham Festival is never short of excitement, the conclusion to last season's OLBG Mares' Hurdle in which the lioness-like five-year-old out-muscled Limini and Vroum Vroum Mag will live long in the memory. As big as 20-1 for the Champion Hurdle, but 3-1 favourite to retain her Mares' Hurdle crown, Gordon Elliott updates us on how the star mare is shaping up for the coming season.
Where did she spend her holidays?
She won the Grade 1 Mares Champion Hurdle by 14 lengths at Punchestown in April before heading out for her holidays with her owners Gigginstown House Stud.
How did she summer?
She's looking well and is cantering away with us at Cullentra House. We're happy with her at this stage and she's in good heart from what we've seen at the moment.
When will we see her again?
We started off last season at Down Royal in the Grade 2 WKD Hurdle, finishing second to Rashaan, and we'll probably return to the north again to begin this campaign. We'll work away from that point, with a programme of mares' races more than likely what she'll take in this season.
What's her long-term objective?
It's early days but I'd imagine she'll try to go back to Cheltenham, hoping to make it two in a row in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle. I think we'll keep her to her own sex for the moment.
What excites you most about her?
She's just so tough – Apple's Jade never knows when she's beat. It's phenomenal when you think that she's only a five-year-old and has already won five Grade 1s. She's talented and has so much heart. She's just a very good filly.