Apple Of Elliott’s Eye To Prevail At Dublin Racing Festival
The Dublin Racing Festival certainly doesn’t lack quality and many questions will be answered over the course of the weekend and, while some bubbles might be burst today or tomorrow, there is sure to be some standout performances that will give us a guide to some of the big races for the remainder of the season.
Apple Of Elliott’s Eye
The BHP Insurances Champion Hurdle has attracted a small but select field and it will be fascinating to see how the mare fares out back over two miles.
Melon was narrowly beaten in a Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last season and if he found that form again today he’d obviously go very close, while last year’s winner Supasundae is progressing with each run again.
Apple’s Jade is the star of the show here though. In receipt of the 7lbs mares allowance, Apple’s Jade has looked to be at her very best in three starts this season but dropping right back in trip poses a different challenge.
The result should be the same though.
There will be no hiding places in this race and Jack Kennedy is sure to go a good gallop from the front end and it would be a surprise if any of the geldings can run her down.
It would be a rare feat if Apple’s Jade could win a Grade 1 over three miles, two and a half miles and two miles in the one season, but she has proven herself over the two mile trip at Leopardstown before and she is a worthy favourite.
It’ll be interesting to see if connections are forced to have a rethink about the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham after today and she is currently 7/1 about BoyleSports for the opening day feature in the Cotswolds.
Elliott On For A Fleet Of Winners
This could be quite a memorable day for Gordon Elliott. Envoi Allen in the bumper is hard to oppose and is a worthy favourite but he has some really good chances throughout the day.
In the opening Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle Commander Of Fleet can shine for the step up in trip.
Pat Fahy’s Dunvegan has some solid form and is a really interesting contender and the Champion Bumper winner Relegate is another near the head of the betting…
but Commander Of Fleet can return to winning ways over 2m6f.
The selection was beaten in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle but that was over two miles and he stayed on really well on that occasion. This is a big step up in trip but the extra three quarters of a mile can be key to the required improvement for Commander Of Fleet and he can book his Cheltenham place here.
Elliott also has one at a big price in the Ladbroke with recent Fairyhouse winner Eclair De Beaufeu a 16/1 shot. A winner at Limerick over Christmas, it has taken a while for the penny to drop with this Gigginstown runner but now that he has found his form he could be well handicapped off 130 with a lovely weight of just 10st5lbs.
Apple’s Jade (11/10) – 1.25 Leopardstown
Commander Of Fleet (7/2) – 12.50 Leopardstown
*Prices correct at time of publication.