Jer’s Girl handed WKD date

Dual Grade One-winning mares Apple's Jade and Jer's Girl are among 11 possible runners in the WKD Hurdle at Down Royal on Friday.

Apple's Jade is among the Down Royal entries

Apple's Jade came out narrowly on top when the pair met at Leopardstown last Christmas and both went on to enjoy a fantastic end to the season.

The Gigginstown House Stud-owned Apple's Jade finished runner-up in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham before a jaw-dropping victory at Aintree and an impressive success at Punchestown.

She was one of the big names to leave Willie Mullins' yard following the well-publicised split with the leading owners in September and she will make her debut for Gordon Elliott if lining up in County Antrim on Friday.

Gigginstown Stud manager Eddie O'Leary said: "It's just an entry at this stage. She's definitely ready to start somewhere."

Gigginstown could also call upon the Henry de Bromhead-trained Petit Mouchoir, runner-up in Grade Ones at Aintree and Punchestown for Mullins last spring, and Wishmoor, who won a bumper for the champion trainer and is now with Mouse Morris.

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After being snapped up by JP McManus, Jer's Girl won the Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse before beating the boys at Punchestown.

Trainer Gavin Cromwell said: "She's not a definite runner and unless they get some rain I'd say she won't run. We're happy with her at home and she'll be ready to start.

"If she doesn't go to Down Royal, she could run in the second season novice race over two and a half miles in Naas on Sunday."

McManus also has Joseph O'Brien's Triumph Hurdle hero Ivanovich Gorbatov in contention.

Mullins has entered Triumph third Footpad, last seen winning a Grade One at Auteuil, and Thomas Hobson.

Hello Sweetie, Mahler Ten, My Manekineko and Rashaan complete the 11-strong field.

The other Graded prize up for grabs on Friday's card is the European Breeders Fund Lough Construction Ltd. Mares Novice Hurdle.

The unbeaten Airlie Beach and the smart Screaming Rose are the two Mullins representatives.

Elliott has entered Tipperary scorer Shattered Love and French import Barra.

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