Turf Talk: Apple’s Jade to spearhead Gigginstown challenge at Punchestown

Bryan Cooper (right) and Apple's Jade (left) celebrate winning the 16:10 OLBG Mares' Hurdle during Champion Day of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival. PIC: David Davies/PA Wire
Bryan Cooper (right) and Apple's Jade (left) celebrate winning the 16:10 OLBG Mares' Hurdle during Champion Day of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival. PIC: David Davies/PA Wire
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Cheltenham heroine Apple’s Jade is set to spearhead a formidable team for Gigginstown House Stud at next week’s Punchestown Festival.

The Gordon Elliott-trained five-year-old saw off former stable companions Vroum Vroum Mag and Limini in the Mares’ Hurdle at Prestbury Park last month.

Trainer Gordon Elliott at his stables in Longwood, County Meath, Ireland. PIC: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Trainer Gordon Elliott at his stables in Longwood, County Meath, Ireland. PIC: Niall Carson/PA Wire

She is entered in the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle, the Betdaq Punchestown Champion Hurdle and the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Champion Hurdle at Punchestown.

Gigginstown manager Eddie O’Leary said: “Apple’s Jade is obviously very, very good. I don’t think she’ll be running in the Champion Hurdle over two miles – she’ll either go for the three-miler or the mares’ race and we’ll decide in the next few days.”

Henry de Bromhead’s Petit Mouchoir is set to run in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle on Friday week. Elliott’s Outlander, who disappointed at Cheltenham, will bid to bounce back in the Punchestown Gold Cup next Wednesday and could be joined by fellow Gigginstown-owned chaser Sub Lieutenant.

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

AYR: 2.10 Strong Pursuit, 2.40 Spiritual Man, 3.15 Bob Mahler, 3.50 Theinval, 4.20 Valseur Du Granval, 4.50 River Arrow, 5.25 Beer Goggles.

BATH: 4.55 Diamond Dougal, 5.30 Wordiness, 6.00 Priceless, 6.30 Attain, 7.00 Apres Midi, 7.30 Desert Explorer, 8.00 Cajmere.

FONTWELL: 1.50 Shimba Hills, 2.20 Royal Vacation, 2.55 Red Rising, 3.30 Port Melon, 4.00 Without Frontier, 4.30 Mr Bachster, 5.05 Dans Le Vent.

NEWBURY: 2.00 Owen The Law, 2.30 Rainbow Dreamer, 3.05 Maths Prize (next best), 3.40 The Jean Genie, 4.10 Solomon’s Bay, 4.40 DOUBLE UP (NAP), 5.10 May Sky, 5.40 Tirania.

SOUTHWELL: 4.45 Riddlestown, 5.15 Chestnut Ben, 5.45 Burtons Well, 6.15 Ardea, 6.45 Steel City, 7.15 Jester Jet, 7.45 Colonial Dreams.

Trainer Hugo Palmer.

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