Apple’s Jade claims her 9th Grade 1 by winning The Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle

Apple's Jade and Jack Kennedy winning The Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown. Credit: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Day three of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival 2018 saw Gigginstown House Stud claim a treble, among them the filly Apple’s Jade in the Grade 1 Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle, while Kemboy put himself firmly in the Cheltenham Gold Cup picture with an impressive performance in the Savills Chase.

Gordon Elliott’s Apple’s Jade (8/13f) won her 9th Grade 1 race when easily taking The Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle over 3m. The incredible six-year-old led from flagfall and the only horse who stayed in close contention with her was former Champion Hurdler, the now 10-year-old Faugheen, before he crashed out at the second last. Apple’s Jade came home in splendid isolation, officially winning by 26 lengths. The Joseph O’Brien-trained Early Doors (22/1) was runner-up, with another three-and-a-quarter lengths back to Baupaume.

In the Savills Chase, formerly The Lexus Chase, David Mullins took up the running on Kemboy (8/1) passing the winning post on the first circuit. The horse, trained by the jockey’s uncle Willie, was then in a prominent position before kicking on coming down the home straight. The six-year-old ran out an easy seven-and-a-half lengths winner over Henry de Bromhead’s Monalee.

Barry Geraghty won the opener, The Sky Sports Racing Maiden Hurdle, when deputising for Noel Fehily on Malinas Jack (8/1). The Henry de Bromhead four-year-old had three-quarters of a lengths to spare over the big-priced Foxy Jacks (20/1) from the Mouse Morris stable, with Diol Ker (20/1), who looked to have the race at his mercy before pecking after landing over the final flight, a further two-and-a-quarter lengths behind in third.

Henry de Bromhead completed a quick-fire double when Gigginstown House Stud’s Cuneo (12/1) took the Pertemps Network Handicap (Qualifier) under Rachael Blackmore from the fast-finishing Walk To Freedom (10/1) and Thermistocles (7/1jf).

Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud achieved the second part of a Day 3 treble when Gun Digger (3/1) comfortably won the Ballymaloe Foods Beginners Novice Steeplechase by 18 lengths from Whisperinthebreeze (6/1). The winner’s task was made much easier, however, when the challenging Bacardys and Borderline Chatho fell at the last fence.

The Church Gate (8/1), trained by Matthew Smith in Co. Meath, took The Irish Daily Star Handicap Hurdle, while the concluding bumper went to Joseph O’Brien’s even money favourite Ash Hill.

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