Gordon Elliott has continued to insist Apple’s Jade is a long-shot to compete in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham this year, despite entering the 7-year-old in the Leopardstown equivalent of the famous race. 

Intending to run the mare in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at the Dublin Festival next month, many would expect the trainer to have made the appointment with a view to capturing a Cheltenham crown. 

Spluttering to a third placed finish in the Mares’ Hurdle in Gloucestershire last year, Elliott had hoped to his charge take to the course at Prestbury Park once again. 

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He is not confident, however. 

Quoted by Sporting Life, the Irishman said: 

She’ll have an entry, but I’d say it’ll be very doubtful. 

She’s in good form at home. She’ll do a bit of work next Tuesday morning – and if all goes well she definitely runs (at Leopardstown). We’ll probably run Farclas and Tombstone in it as well – so all being well, we’ll have two or three runners.