Gordon Elliott has decided to give Apple’s Jade a break over the Christmas period following her Grade One victory at Fairyhouse earlier this month.
The four-year-old filly lowered the colours of her former stablemate, the Willie Mullins-trained Vroum Vroum Mag in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle.
Apple’s Jade will now be given a few weeks more away from the track after Elliott announced she will not take up either engagement in the Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle or the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown next week.
“We won’t run her over Christmas. We’ll keep her for a few weeks until after Christmas,” the County Meath handler said.
Elliott intends to be mob-handed at Leopardstown over the four days of their Christmas meeting.
“I’ve loads of runners. It’s an exciting time over Christmas and I’m, looking forward to it,” he said.
Of his many intended runners is Prince Of Scars, who is being lined up for the Neville Hotels Novice Chase on Thursday week.
Elliott added: “We’ve got plenty for the novice chases. Prince Of Scars will go for the three-mile, Diamond King I’m sure will go for something and I’ll have runners in nearly every race I’d say over Christmas.”
Meanwhile Willie Mullins is responsible for six of the 13 remaining entries for the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown.
The champion trainer landed the Grade One prize with the mighty Hurricane Fly in 2008 and doubled up with the ill-fated Long Dog 12 months ago.
This year’s team includes Saturnas and Penhill, who were second and fourth respectively behind stable companion Airlie Beach in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse earlier this month.
That could prove a key piece of form with the third, La Martalin, also left in by Noel Meade, while Henry de Bromhead’s Peace News could bid to bounce back from his fall two flights from the finish.
Mullins could also call upon Limerick maiden hurdle winners Cadmium and Kemboy, Clonmel scorer Crack Mome and Thurles victor Riven Light.
De Bromhead has two other contenders in ex-Mullins inmate Avenir D’Une Vie, who made a successful start to his jumping career in a maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse, and Lion In His Heart. Gordon Elliott meanwhile has a couple of options, with Blood Crazed Tiger and Brelade among the baker’s dozen. The Jessica Harrington-trained Sunni May completes the list of acceptors.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved