Apple's Jade pencilled in for Lismullen Hurdle return

Saturday, Oct 7 2017

Star mare Apple's Jade could make her seasonal reappearance in the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan on November 12.

The five-year-old won Grade One events at Aintree and Punchestown in the spring of 2016 when trained by Willie Mullins, but was one of the most high-profile horses to leave the champion trainer last autumn following a well-publicised split with Gigginstown House Stud.

She has won three of her six starts since joining Gordon Elliott, claiming the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse, the Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Mares Champion Hurdle at Punchestown.

Elliott said: "W e'll probably start her off in the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan.

"I'd say she'll have a similar sort of campaign to last season. We'll look at the Hatton's Grace after Navan and then will aim her towards the Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival."

A Toi Phil, who won last weekend's PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park, is set to be aimed at a Grade Two chase for second-season novices at Down Royal on November 4.

Last season's Lexus Chase winner Outlander is likely to contest the JNwine.com Champion Chase on the same afternoon.

Death Duty survived a final-fence blunder to make a winning chasing debut at Tipperary last Sunday and is set for an imminent step up in class.

"I didn't think he did anything majorly wrong at Tipperary, he just made a mistake at the last. If he'd have jumped that well, he probably would have won easily and everyone would have been delighted, but he didn't," Elliott told At The Races.

"He'll probably go to the Florida Pearl Novice Chase at Punchestown next month and then go to the Drinmore at Fairyhouse from there, all being well.

"I think he'll be versatile with regard to ground as long as it isn't rattling fast."

The Cullentra handler confirmed last season's Supreme Novices' Hurdle hero Labaik "probably won't get to run this season" as he continues to recover from injury.



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