Watch: Apple's Jade cruises to Christmas Hurdle triumph, Faugheen fine after crashing fall
Apple's Jade ran out an easy winner of the Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown, adding to last year's success in the race.
Winning at the highest level for the ninth time, Jack Kennedy decided to keep things simple and bounced out into an early lead.
She held around a four-length advantage over her main rival Faugheen, and both seemed happy enough with their positions as none of the other runners were able to lay up anywhere near them.
Despite jumping out to her right as the pace increased, Kennedy had not moved a muscle on the 8-13 favourite as he asked her to go about her business running towards the second last.
Ruby Walsh spotted the move and started to ask Faugheen to get closer, but Faugheen took off a stride too soon and suffered a crashing fall.
The former champion hurdler was on the ground for some time, but eventually rose to his feet after a couple of minutes and was walked back in by Walsh.
That gifted Gordon Elliott's Apple's Jade the race, but it would have taken something special from Faugheen to put it up to the mare, who finished full of running as Early Doors stayed on to take a remote second.
The best sight of the day - Ruby and Faugheen up safely after their fall... pic.twitter.com/gp6vrh16vm— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) December 28, 2018
Kennedy said: "I had to make the running again on her, but it didn't matter. (She) jumped great, travelled away, jumped the second last and she changed gears and was away from the back of it and galloped all the way to the line. She was very good.
"I could see on the big screen I was fairly well clear of what was in behind me. She's unreal, she is a pleasure to be riding.
"She was in good form this time last year and then lost her way, so hopefully she can keep continuing this way anyway."