Elliott eyeing Punchestown redemption for Apple's Jade
Gordon Elliott is eyeing Punchestown redemption for Apple's Jade following her disappointing effort in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last week.
The seven-year-old had enjoyed a brilliant season, racking up a hat-trick of wide-margin Grade One wins in the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse, the Christmas Hurdle and Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.
She was the marginal favourite to claim the two-mile hurdling crown last Tuesday, but was under pressure from an early stage and passed the post well beaten in sixth place.
Elliott later revealed she had returned a dirty scope, and he is now concentrating on getting her back to form for next month's Punchestown Festival - where she is likely to have several options.
He said: "She scoped dirty after the race. We thought she was in great form going over - but to me, she was beaten after two hurdles.
"She stepped into the second hurdle, and she never looked happy at all afterwards.
"She'll be back for Punchestown, all being well - that would be the plan. She'll be entered in everything.
"Take nothing away from the winner (Espoir D'Allen). I don't know if any horse on the day would have beaten him - he was very impressive."