Apple's Jade toughs it out to win Mares' Hurdle

Apple's Jade (middle) showed laudable battling skills to keep the Willie Mullins battalion at bay in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle.

Gordon Elliott's mare (7-2) made all of the running, but looked like she had it to do once Vroum Vroum Mag edged ahead after the final flight, at which point the on-rushing Limini made a costly error when bang in the frame.

But Apple's Jade and Bryan Cooper were not having any of it and somehow clawed themselves back into the lead in the Gigginstown House Stud silks.

Vroum Vroum Mag was second, with Limini third.

Cooper said: "She's all heart. We were confident coming here.

"Gordon's a genius and I'm very lucky to ride for him."

Gigginstown owner Michael O'Leary said: "The racing at Cheltenham is very tough and I've never had a winner on a Tuesday here.

"I'm delighted for Gordon and his team - they've done a brilliant job - and I'm also delighted for Bryan Cooper."