Past Winners » Apple’s Jade


As with Sizing John, Ivanovich Gorbatov is a horse I like a lot, he was very good at Cheltenham when we had him on side.  However, he may not have as much in hand over Apple’s Jade on today’s ground as the market suggests.

Apple’s Jade is the bet for me.  It always looked like Ivanovich Gorbatov had her measure in the Triumph Hurdle, but it took him a little while to get past her.  It was his flat-race speed that enabled him take her measure up the hill in the end.  Also, Apple’s Jade quickened herself, and the pair of them came clear of Footpad.  She is a classy filly.

Apple’s Jade hadn’t had an ideal preparation for the Triumph Hurdle.  A slight setback ruled her out of the Spring Hurdle at Leopardstown in early February, with the result that, when she ran in the Triumph, she was running for the first time since Christmas.

She was very good in that race at Christmas, in a Grade 2 juveniles’ race, battling on bravely to get the better of Jer’s Girl, with the pair of them coming clear of Footpad and Campeador.  That is rock solid form.  Footpad won the Grade 1 Spring Hurdle next time out, Campeador would have at least gone close in the Fred Winter Hurdle off a mark of 141 had he not come down at the last, and Jer’s Girl looked very good in winning the Grade 1 mares’ novices’ hurdle at Fairyhouse.

A couple of other things about Apple’s Jade.  Firstly, the fact that Willie Mullins pitched her into a Grade 2 contest on her first run for him is an indication of the regard in which he holds her.  And secondly, that Triumph Hurdle run was just the third run of her life.  Ivanovich Gorbatov was racing for the sixth time and the third time over hurdles.  She has more scope for progression, and the easier ground will suit her and might be against the favourite.