Sport Horse Racing

Friday 14 December 2018

Apple's Jade leads Navan treble for Elliott and Kennedy

Apple’s Jade, with Jack Kennedy up, on the way to winning The Lismullen Hurdle at Navan yesterday Pic: Alain Barr
Apple’s Jade, with Jack Kennedy up, on the way to winning The Lismullen Hurdle at Navan yesterday Pic: Alain Barr

Thomas Kelly

Apple's Jade was the star act in a big-race Navan hat-trick for the irresistible combination of trainer Gordon Elliott, jockey Jack Kennedy and owners Gigginstown House Stud.

The multiple Grade One-winning mare made light of a 7lb penalty in the Lismullen Hurdle to suggest she is set for a lucrative campaign.

Jer's Girl looked a danger from three out but the class of Apple's Jade kicked in from the last and the 8/15 favourite won cosily by two lengths.

"That was grand as she normally gets beat the first day," said Elliott. "I'd imagine she'll go to Fairyhouse now (for the Hatton's Grace) - obviously I'll speak to Michael and Eddie (O'Leary). "It's grand to get that out of the way."


Stablemate Clarcam (7/2) ran out a game winner of the other Grade Two contest on the card, the Fortria Chase.

The seven-year-old dug deep to beat long-time leader Alisier D'Irlande by half a length after being held up in the early stages.

Elliott said: "He's a little star. He's won two Grade Ones. He's only seven but he's been around a long time. I'm not sure where we'll go with him now."

Mengli Khan looked a bright prospect (5/4 favourite) when sparking the Elliott treble in the Grade Three For Auction Novice Hurdle at Navan.

The four-year-old showed he had come on for his success over the course and distance in September with a fluent display as he struck by four lengths from Stratum.

Elliott said: "He was good there and I'd say he'll go for the Royal Bond - he's a two-miler."

The Meath handler and Gigginstown had a fourth winner through Invincible Cave (7/4), which took the bumper under Lisa O'Neill.

Willie Mullins got in on the act as Footpad (4/6 favourite) made a wining debut over fences in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase.

The Grade One-winning hurdler romped home by 11 lengths from Brelade in the hands of Daryl Jacob to have Mullins thinking of the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse next month.

"He is a very natural jumper at home and he did the same here," said the champion trainer.

"I thought it was a good performance for a first-time-out novice. He's as good a novice as I've seen schooling at home.

"I'd imagine we'll look at the Drinmore. The way he was going there I'd be happy to stick at two miles but the Drinmore is two and a half so we'll look at that.

"He has no problem going two and a half as he was a two-and-a-half-mile hurdler."

Meanwhile, Oscar Knight's victory in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Brown Lad Handicap Hurdle capped a great day for JP McManus and Mark Walsh at Naas.

Tom Mullins' 5/1 chance travelled strongly into contention at the top of the straight and wasn't too hard pressed to beat Glenloe, also in the McManus colours, by a length and a quarter.

The victory gave Walsh a treble following the earlier wins of Red Jack and Early Doors.

McManus also struck in Britain with class acts Modus and Unowhatimeanharry.

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