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She's back! Apple's Jade ripens for Fairyhouse assignment next month

Apple's Jade: is bidding for back-to-back Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle victories at Leopardstown
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Apple's Jade has had 17 starts in her career to date. She has won 11 of them, been second on four occasions and third on the other two. Her consistency is only outweighed by her class and her 11-length from-the-front Lismullen romp saw her shoot to the summit of the OLBG Mares Hurdle market with Betfair, joining last season's winner Benie Des Dieux at 3-1.

Gordon Elliott told us we did not see the best of her last spring as she kept coming in season on racedays. He assured us the problem had been rectified and so it proved as she put clear daylight between herself and 2014 Champion Hurdle winner Jezki from the second last. 

Apple's Jade: now 3-1 joint-favourite for Cheltenham success

There was a sad postscript as two-time Grade 1 winner Identity Thief suffered a fatal leg injury between the final two flights.

"She was good there today and we're delighted. She had to do the donkey work and she'll even come on a little bit from the run but we're delighted, it was a great run," Elliott said afterwards. 

Watch Apple's Jade returning to her best in the Lismullen Hurdle


"We'll definitely go to Fairyhouse now for the Hatton's Grace. She looks a different mare than the one you saw on her last two runs of last season. It was nice to get her back on track. She showed a lot of her old spark there I thought.

"She was dead as a maggot when she was in season but she's like a bull going around there today. She's back. Jack said she jumped a little bit right but she always does that. With a bit of company she'll be better but we had to make the running because we didn't want it to turn into a sprint."

Apple's Jade: retirement is not on the agenda for the great mare

Jack Kennedy will miss the ride on Samcro – who suffered a shock defeat at the hooves of Bedrock in the WKD Hurdle on November 2 – in the Morgiana next Sunday because of a ten-day suspension he picked up for excessive use of the whip on Sir Ector at Down Royal last Friday week, but this success will keep his spirits up.

Kennedy said: "It's brilliant to get back on her. She is such a nice mare and, for her to be back to herself today, is great. She felt like she did at the start of the season last year so hopefully she can continue like this for the rest of the season."

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We'll definitely go to Fairyhouse now for the Hatton's Grace
E.W. Terms