Thursday 23 January 2020

Apple's Jade set to Power way to Lismullen hat-trick

Apple’s Jade is in flying form for Gordon Elliott
Apple’s Jade is in flying form for Gordon Elliott

Robbie Power will become the eighth jockey to partner APPLE'S JADE (1.05, Navan) in a race and will be hoping to be the seventh to win on the 10-time Grade One winner.

Ruby Walsh is actually the only rider to have ridden Apple's Jade and not won on her and now Power has the task of trying to guide the seven-year-old to a third consecutive Lismullen Hurdle.

The Grade Two event has attracted just four runners with Bacardys posing the biggest challenge, but Apple's Jade's early season record is difficult to argue with in the main and Gordon Elliott gave a positive bulletin on her well-being earlier this week.

It's another big day for Elliott at his local track as he will also give a hurdling debut to the exciting ANDY DUFRESNE (1.35, Navan).

Andy Dufresne has already proven to be something of a rags to riches story as he was sold to JP McManus for £330,000 by a small syndicate which included Elliott's travelling head lass, Camilla Sharples, and he duly obliged when winning a bumper by 10 lengths in January.

Now making his hurdling debut, the five-year-old could be very prominent in many ante post lists after this afternoon, with Mark Walsh booked to ride.

Navan's Grade Two Fortria Chase can boast a top class roll of honour, with the likes of Moscow Flyer, Big Zeb and Flemenstar just a few to have graced this race and there is no doubt it is the race of this weekend.

Last year's winner, Ballyoisin, faces the formidable task of meeting the Arkle winner of last season, DUC DES GENIEVRES (2.10, Navan) and Cheltenham winner A Plus Tard.

The latter is likely to contest some big prizes this season but Duc Des Genievres should just be better suited by this two mile trip.

The ground will suit both second season novices but the trip is what could swing in favour of the Mullins and Townend runner.

Later on the card attention will turn to the dual Champion Hurdle runner-up MELON (3.15, Navan) in the beginner chase.

Often the bridesmaid, Melon hasn't been in the winners' enclosure in just over two years but a clear round of jumping here should see his class shine through.

A leap of faith is taken that Paul Nolan's LATEST EXHIBITION (12.35, Navan) continues to prove he could be well above average when he takes on his next challenge in the For Auction Novice Hurdle.

The smart bumper winner will have to be good to fend off Fast Buck and Abacadabras, but he couldn't have done much more in Galway and is one to follow.

Elsewhere on the Navan card, VELOCITY BOY (2.45, Navan) is good enough to claim the spoils in the Hotel Park St Johann Tirol Austria Handicap Hurdle. The veteran ran well a couple of weeks ago at Galway and if putting it all together he'll be able to make every post a winning one to also record a first win in over two years.

Navan tomorrow

12.05 The Church Gate

12.35 Latest Exhibition

1.05 Apple's Jade

1.35 Andy Dufresne

2.10 Duc Des Genievres

2.45 Velocity Boy

3.15 Melon

3.50 Fakir D'alene

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