Gordon Elliott is likely to give Apple’s Jade the go-ahead to run in the Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle at Aintree on Saturday but stablemate Samcro won’t be going to Merseyside.
Apple’s Jade was sent off favourite for last month’s Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham but finished a disappointing sixth as Espoir D’Allen scored for trainer Gavin Cromwell.
The star mare, who had won all four starts this season over a variety of trips, scoped dirty after her Cheltenham run.
Apple’s Jade has been in good form since and while she retains an entry in the Aintree Hurdle over two-and-a-half-miles, her trainer is leaning towards the Stayers’ race on Saturday, a contest for which she’s now the 13/8 favourite with Betfred.
“Apple’s Jade and Samcro worked at the gallops facility at Skryne [County Meath on Monday morning]. Apple’s Jade has a couple of Grade One entries at Aintree and will probably go but Samcro won’t be travelling,” said Elliott.
“Apple’s Jade is in the Aintree Hurdle on Thursday and the Stayers’ Hurdle on Saturday. I’ll talk things over with Michael and Eddie [O’Leary] before we decide. But we might go for the longer race with her.”
Sam Spinner, second to Paisley Park in the Cheltenham Stayers’ race is second favourite for Aintree at 7/2.
Samcro, meanwhile, could reappear over Easter in Ireland, according to his trainer. He’s hasn’t been sighted since a below-par effort at Leopardstown over Christmas, his latest poor run from three starts this term.
Elliott said: “He might go to Fairyhouse on Easter Monday for a Grade Two hurdle race over two-and-a-half miles.”
Odds subject to change.