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Apple's Jade runs them ragged in Foxrock

Apple's Jade and Jack Kennedy on the way to another Grade 1 win at LeopardstownApple's Jade and Jack Kennedy on the way to another Grade 1 win at Leopardstown
© Photo Healy Racing

"Apple's Jade has been left in splendid isolation" exclaimed racecourse commentator Jerry Hannon after the second last and the star mare duly galloped home clear in the Grade One Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle.

The 8/13 favourite made all and was around four lengths clear of the pursuing Faugheen two out where the latter hit the top and crashed out of contention.

The six-year-old then sauntered in by a whopping 26 lengths from Early Doors (22/1 from 33/1).

Jack Kennedy said: "I had to make the running again on her but it didn't matter - jumped great, travelled away, jumped the second last and she changed gears and she 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."

Gordon Elliott said: “Jack said she was brilliant today and foot perfect everywhere. He gave her a kick at the second last and she picked up changed gears and was gone again.

"He said she was actually gone a bit idle in front but it’s a good complaint to have and we’re lucky to have her.

“It was unfortunate to see Faugheen falling and we don’t know what would have happened but it probably would have taken a fair one to go past her.

“She’ll be entered in everything. She might come back here over two miles (in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle). In Cheltenham she will probably go for the race I think she can win and that might be the Mares Hurdle.

“She likes running and I think I gave her too much time between her last run and Cheltenham last year. I’ll have to talk to Michael and Eddie (O'Leary) but I wouldn’t mind bringing her back here over two miles.

“She goes a bit right going to a hurdle but jumps it straight. She’s done that for the last two seasons but it doesn’t stop her.”

Apple's Jade won this race last year and now has nine Grade Ones in her locker.

Paddy Power and Betfair trimmed Apple's Jade from 6/4f to 5/4f for the OLBG Mares' Hurdle while BoyleSports cut her to even money favourite from 7/4.

She gave Elliott and Kennedy a double as they also took the preceding beginners' chase with Gun Digger

Additional reporting by Alan Magee

About Michael Graham
Michael has worked in horse racing journalism for more than 15 years, having also written a weekly betting column on Gaelic football and hurling for a newspaper. He is involved in writing the My Racing Story features on this website. He spent a year in South Africa completing a Diploma in Business Administration and also studied Newspaper Journalism in Belfast. He enjoys playing 5-a-side football on a regular basis.