GORDON ELLIOTT reckons Apple’s Jade will take the step up in journey in her stride within the Squared Monetary Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown on Thursday.
The mare secured her sixth Grade 1 success with an superior show within the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse earlier this month.
The Gigginstown Home Stud-owned five-year-old assessments the water over three miles for the primary time on day three of Leopardstown’s Christmas Competition.
“There’s not rather a lot for her if we do not run right here till Cheltenham, besides a Listed hurdle in Punchestown (in February),” Elliott instructed At The Races.
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“The way she won in Fairyhouse the last day, with another furlong or two she maybe would have won another 10 lengths.
“That 7lb mares’ allowance is unbelievable.”
Apple’s Jade faces six rivals, with Elliott and Gigginstown also represented by Lieutenant Colonel, who claimed this prize in 2014 when trained by the now-retired Sandra Hughes.
Willie Mullins is triple-handed with Nichols Canyon, Bapaume and Augusta Kate all declared.
Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, said: “Apple’s Jade is the ghost of Christmas past!
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1.20 Kempton – The Unit: ‘The small field and decent pace should play into his hands’ (add to your betslip)
1.55 Kempton – Midnight Tour: ‘Progressive last season and made a promising return’ (add to your betslip)
2.30 Kempton – Politologue: ‘There’s more to come and he should make it a hat-trick of wins this season’ (add to your betslip)
3.05 Kempton – Sir Ivan: ‘His third behind Elegant Escape and Black Corton at Newbury looks good form’ (add to your betslip)
“I don’t think Nichols Canyon ran up to his best at Fairyhouse and I’ll be disappointed if he can’t significantly close the gap, but I don’t think Leopardstown is really his track and Apple’s Jade is going to be very hard to beat.”
Of the other two Closutton representatives, Mullins added: “Augusta Kate didn’t travel or jump in the Hatton’s Grace (finished sixth). We haven’t really found any reason for that and we’re hoping she’ll improve.
“Bapaume is having his first run of the season and his first run outside of juvenile company. He has a lot to find on ratings and he’s taking a big step up in trip. It’s a bit of a fact-finding mission with him.”
Jessica Harrington runs both Jezki and Supasundae.