Ruby: Apple’s Jade was awesome but Samcro is at the crossroads now

It was a game of two halves for Gordon Elliott's team last weekend with Apple’s Jade putting in an awesome display to win a third Hatton’s Grace Hurdle....


It was a proper race from the get-go as Wicklow Brave was jumping like a buck and galloping away – but Apple’s Jade was at him to go quicker!

I knew after we’d run a mile that Limini was struggling to keep going at that pace.

And she was 12 or 14 lengths off Apple’s Jade at that stage.

Her ability to keep going at the pace she set was breath-taking. To maintain those fractions was a top performance.

She should go to Leopardstown next over Christmas and she will take some beating there if arriving in the same type of form. has the latest racing odds

Samcro has a bit to prove now and is at a crossroads after his performance in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle.

His connections have said he’ll be trained as a Champion Hurdle horse, but to me he looked very tame on Saturday. He looked slow compared to Buveur D’Air, who seemed to have loads of gears.

He looked sluggish.

I don’t think we got the head-to-head we wanted, as it was such a one-sided contest from a fair way out. Samcro jumped and galloped but Buveur D’Air was so slick at his hurdles and travelled so strong all the way through. It was a very emphatic performance from the winner.

I even felt angry at myself for doubting Buveur D’Air before the race.

It was an awesome performance by a hell of a good horse who hasn’t been beaten since he was a novice.

I keep saying that’s it’s a big jump from novice company and not all horses – not matter how good they appear – make that transition.

Samcro is six now going on seven on January 1, so it’s hard to see where the improvement is going to come from.

Melon was runner up to Buveur D’Air last year at the Festival, but he, Laurina when she reappears and every other hurdler that may be trying to wrestle the Champion Hurdle crown off Buveur D’Air, will need to up their game.

Sunday Review

The change of tactics worked well for Quick Grabim. He settled well, jumped super and put the race to bed early when he was asked for his effort.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that he is just a one-trick pony. He could be just as effective off a fast pace as he has a high cruising speed.

He’s a real hurdler and has a bit of maturity on his side now too. If he doesn’t run in Grade Ones from now on, he’ll have a penalty and will have to give weight away. So, I’d say he’ll stick to Grade One races and could run next at Leopardstown over Christmas.

The Drinmore Chase was a stop-start affair and Gigginstown’s Delta Work showed more pace than I thought he had, to beat Le Richebourg. We know he stays further and looks a bright one for the future and could continue to improve throughout the winter.

I was pleased with Saglaway’s first run of the season. He was very keen in the early stages but finished off well despite nearly uprooting the last hurdle. The winner Wonder Laish was probably value for his winning distance too, though.

Keep your nose in front with

What do you think?