Samcro targets Aintree return as doubts linger over Apple's Jade

Gordon Elliott said the seven-year-old was ‘not certain to travel’ and may be held until the Punchestown Festival.

Jack Kennedy onboard Samcro.
Jack Kennedy onboard Samcro.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CHAMPION HURDLE FLOP Apple’s Jade has been given two entries at next week’s Grand National meeting with connections set to decide over the weekend whether to make the journey to Aintree or wait for the Punchestown Festival.

The 10-time Grade 1 winner disappointed when managing only sixth having been sent off favourite for the Unibet Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, but the seven-year-old was reported to have scoped dirty.

Consequently connections are biding their time before committing to her next target.

“Apple’s Jade has been entered for the Betway Aintree Hurdle over two and a half miles on Thursday and for the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle on Grand National day,” said trainer Gordon Elliot.

She’s not certain to travel and we’ll wait and see how things go with her over the weekend.”

Jack Kennedy onboard Apple's Jade clears the last on his way to winning Apple's Jade is a doubt for next week's Aintree Festival. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Samcro’s return

The star mare’s stablemate Samcro, who missed the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, has been entered for the Betway Aintree Hurdle and a decision on his participation will also be made after he works this weekend.

The seven-year-old, a dual Grade 1 winner as a novice last season when he landed the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, has failed to win in three starts this season.

He has not run since disappointing in the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown in December after which he was found to be suffering from a deep-rooted lung infection.

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A tilt at the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham was considered before it was decided to give him more time and to concentrate on Aintree and Punchestown.

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