Apple’s Jade set to take on Buveur D’Air in the Champion Hurdle
Gordon Elliott confirms star mare likely to have new target after Leopardstown romp
Gordon Elliott with Apple’s Jade after her 10th Grande One success at Leopardstown. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Following her startling win in the Irish equivalent on Saturday both Elliott and Eddie O’Leary, racing manager to his brother Michael’s Gigginstown House Stud, indicated she was likely to stick to the OLBG.com Mares’ Hurdle.
However, having slept on the decision and watched the replay again, Elliott seems to be warming to the idea of a clash with dual champion Buveur D’Air, who completed his preparations with a facile victory at Sandown on Saturday.
“Before yesterday I would have said that the Mares’ Hurdle was the race to go for but she ran in the Mares’ Hurdle last year and got beat,” Elliott told Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday programme.
“Talking about it last night and looking at the re-runs this morning — I’d prefer to get beat in a Champion Hurdle than a Mares’ Hurdle.
“We’ll all have a view but whatever Michael says will go. Speaking to him this morning, the mare is ok after the race yesterday, we’d be mad not to give it a go.”
He went on: “I watched Buveur D’Air this morning, he’s obviously a very good horse who does what he has to do every day and is a horse I’d love to train but we’ll take him on.
“Up until yesterday I would have been very nervous but to do what she did yesterday was very good, she loves a battle and I think Cheltenham suits her better than Leopardstown.
“Nothing is concrete but I’d say it’s likely (to be the Champion Hurdle).”