Apple’s Jade ends Mag’s unbeaten run in Hatton’s Grace thriller

Apple's Jade (left) and Vroum Vroum Mag lock horns

PICTURE: Patrick McCann ( Apple's Jade ends
Mag's unbeaten run By Tony McFadden 1:40PM 4 DEC 2016

Reports: Fairyhouse, Sunday

Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m4f, 4yo+

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VROUM VROUM MAG's unbeaten run under Willie Mullins came to an end as Apple's Jade, who was one of 60 Gigginstown-owned horses removed from the Irish champion trainer's yard, got the better of a thrilling battle.

Ridden by Bryan Cooper, who had limped away from a fall on favourite Peace News in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle 30 minutes earlier, the Gordon Elliott-trained winner rallied gamely on her first start over two and a half miles to narrowly pip the 4-7 favourite Vroum Vroum Mag, who had won all ten previous starts for Willie Mullins.

Apple's Jade had failed to meet expectations when beaten on her first start for Elliott at Down Royal last month and even a close-up second in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle last week was disappointing in light of the sensational impression she had created during her juvenile campaign.

However, Elliott had suggested that the step up in trip would be to her advantage, and so it proved as she stayed on powerfully from the last to fend off the challenge of Vroum Vroum Mag and Ruby Walsh.

The winning margin was a short-head, with a further seven lengths back to Shaneshill in third, who blundered at the last when looking held.

More to follow…

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