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Punchestown Festival: Apple’s Jade a Champion gem

| 30.04.2016
CORAL ENHANCED ACCAS

David Metcalf | April 29, 2016

Apple’s Jade can secure top juvenile crown

Apple’s Jade put in an astonishing performance when winning last time out and looks a worthy odds-on favourite to follow-up in the Grade 1 Aes Champion Four Year Old Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival (16.25).

The Willie Mullins trained filly won her first two starts over obstacles in the style of an above average performer, and showed a willing attitude in the second of those to dig deep and beat Jer’s Girl by a head in the Grade 2 Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Jer’s Girl has since gone on to bolt-up by 13 lengths in a Grade 1 contest at Fairyhouse to give the form a solid look, and Apple’s Jade went on to finish a fine second to Ivanovich Gorbatov in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Willie_Mullins

Breathtaking display at Aintree

The Gigginstown House Stud owned daughter of Jeremy then got revenge on Ivanovich Gorbatov in no uncertain terms when landing the Grade 1 Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree earlier in the month.

Apple’s Jade travelled like a dream throughout and after taking up the running three from home shot clear without being asked a serious question to win easing down by 41 lengths in a quick time.

It was a breathtaking display, and one of the most impressive performances I have ever seen by a juvenile.

The only concern is that this race may come too quick, but Apple’s Jade has not had a hard season and if turning up in anywhere near the same form is going to be very difficult to beat.

No excuses for Ivanovich

Apples_Jade

There didn’t appear to be any excuses for Ivanovich Gorbatov at Aintree, but he still looks the obvious choice for the forecast in what looks a two horse race on paper.

The Aidan O’Brien trained gelding had previously shown a smart turn of foot to beat Apple’s Jade in the Triumph, and had been talked as of a contender for next year’s Champion Hurdle on the back of that successes.

Connections have made no secret of the high regard in which the son of Montjeu is held, but he had also bombed out prior to the Festival and his profile is becoming patchy.

On a going day there is little doubt that Ivanovich Gorbatov is very good, but finding 41 lengths to turn the tables Apple’s Jade looks an impossible task.

Related

Check out our horse racing archive, and more specifically our dedicated Punchestown section.

Coral’s top tip: Apple’s Jade looked something out of the ordinary at Aintree and is impossible to oppose. Ivanovich Gorbatov can chase her home.

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Author

David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.