Gordon Elliott's Apple's Jade put on a spine-tingling show in the feature BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle on day one of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown, blowing away her five rivals by 16 lengths.
Jockey Jack Kennedy made his intentions known from the drop of the flag, sending the 8/11 favourite straight to the front and she never saw another rival on the way to yet another wide-margin win.
"It was great. Whatever happens now we can enjoy the weekend as you put yourself under so much pressure coming here. To have two Grade 1s here it doesn't matter what happens the rest of the weekend," said a delighted Elliott who was named Meath Sportsperson of the Year in January.
The first Grade 1, the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors €50,000 Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff Novice Hurdle, also went to Gordon Elliott and Kennedy as 13/2 shot Commander Of Fleet dug deep to repel Rhinestone.
Elliott completed his hat-trick when Envoi Allen won the Grade 2 bumper with Jamie Codd on board.
"He looks a very exciting horse. He's obviously in the Cheltenham bumper and I'll have to talk to the owners," stated Elliott.
Pat Keogh, Chief Executive of Leopardstown Racecourse, commented:
“We have been privileged to host such a high-quality renewal of Dublin Racing Festival today, thanks to the hard work of all the staff at Leopardstown and a big thank you to all of our sponsors from today's races.
The atmosphere from the moment the gates opened this morning has been magnificent and we look forward
to another big day tomorrow.”
Barry Geraghty was flying the Meath flag at Sandown where he recorded a double with Buveur D'air for
Nicky Henderson and Defi Du Seuil for Philip Hobbs.