Fairyhouse Sunday: How Do You Like Them Apple’s?4 min read
Jade can show she remains Elliott’s best Champion Hurdle prospect.
There isn’t a trainer in Ireland in quite the form than Joseph O’Brien, who has saddled no fewer than nine winners in the last 48 hours, dominating proceedings at Dundalk on Friday night and Fairyhouse on Saturday. He can maintain his form courtesy of Triplicate, who has been ignored by the market makers in the Royal Bond. It’s true he was beaten by Quick Grabim last time, but he was conceding weight that day, and has more scope for improvement which gives him realistic chances of turning the tables.
The Drinmore is often one of the most informative races in the first half of the season, and this renewal looks right up to standard with ten previous winners, all of them promising types, in opposition. The pick is Discorama, who has often shaped better than the bare result in his races, and di so again despite winning on his chase debut at Naas, typically left poorly placed in relation to a modest enough gallop, but once again showing a remarkable turn of foot to quicken up from off the pace to win with something to spare. That defeat of Burgas is not the best form on offer here, but it’s the way he gave his opponents a start and a beating which impressed, and he remains the type to win good races when he gets things run his way. The chance of a strong pace to come off looks good here, with Blow By Blow equipped with a first-time visor, and he beat that rival when making his hurdles debut last season, as well as finishing second to him at the Cheltenham Festival, when he was asked to pass the entire field in the last half mile despite a less than honest pace, and he almost managed it.
Samcro may still be on course for the Champion Hurdle despite his defeat at Newcastle yesterday, but I still feel that connections have a more likely winner in the shape of the underrated Apple’s Jade, who wasn’t herself after Christmas last year due to what are best described as “women’s issues”, but looked back to form when winning the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan. She thrives on racing, and is sure to improve on that, which makes her look very hard to beat, and she has the beating of main rival Supasundae on Christmas Hurdle form from last season. It might be worth looking at her Champion Hurdle price before she runs here, and that’s certainly where she’d be heading if she were mine.