Gordon Elliott is confident Apple’s Jade can put a poor run at Cheltenham behind her when she returns to the more successful surroundings of Aintree for the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle on Saturday.
The seven-year-old mare flopped when sent off 7-4 favourite for the Champion Hurdle after being impressive in winning all her four previous starts this season.
One of those victories came over this distance of three miles while she slammed Supasundae, winner of Thursday’s Aintree Hurdle, twice this term.
And on her only previous visit to the Liverpool track, she trounced Ivanovich Gorbatov by 41 lengths in the Grade One juvenile hurdle.
With such an exemplary career record, it is no wonder Elliott just wants to put a line through her latest run at Cheltenham, where she has never been at home.
“She is in good form at home, obviously Cheltenham was massively disappointing but we are really pleased with the way she is going,” said the County Meath handler.
“Going back up to three miles will suit and the bit of rain we have had will also suit her.
“Cheltenham was one of the most disappointing moments of the season, but every day is disappointing when things don’t go right.
“Cheltenham didn’t work out and we just need to put a line through it. I don’t know what it is about Cheltenham, she definitely doesn’t look as good there for some reason.”
Though Stayers’ Hurdle scorer Paisley Park has declined the challenge, Apple’s Jade will be taken on by the runner-up that day, Sam Spinner.
Jedd O’Keeffe’s performer came right back to his best at Cheltenham and was third in this race last year.
Wholestone, second 12 months ago, will bid to go one better for Nigel Twiston-Davies while others include Harry Fry’s duo of Unowhatimeanharry and If The Cap Fits and old favourites The Worlds End and West Approach.
Olly Murphy is hoping Brewin’upastorm will be suited by the track in the Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle after he did not quite get up the hill when fourth in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
“I thought he looked the winner everywhere at Cheltenham bar turning in to the line, where I don’t think he quite got the trip,” said Murphy.
“I think this flatter track will suit him, he came out of his run very well.
“He’s got strong form and he’s a horse I wouldn’t be swapping.”
Nicky Henderson feels Angels Breath will improve for the step up in trip after he stayed on to take seventh place in Supreme over two miles at the Festival.
“Angels Breath raced like a horse that would probably appreciate two and half miles, around Aintree anyway,” the Seven Barrows handler told Unibet.
“There is probably not a great deal of difference between two miles at Cheltenham and two and a half miles around Aintree. He will enjoy it – the extra half will help him. I think he is a very good horse.”