Jade De Grugy team anticipating “hot race” in Cheltenham renewal

Connections are relishing the prospect of taking on high-class opposition in the Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle with the talented Jade De Grugy.

A winner on French soil before transferring to Willie Mullins for €230,000, the five-year-old has shown real promise since landing at the Closutton yard.

An eye-catching 15-length winner at Leopardstown on her stable debut over Christmas, she took the step up to Grade Three company with aplomb when comfortably triumphing in the Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse last month.

That success saw Jade De Grugy book her ticket to the Festival, but she is unlikely to get her own way in the Cotswolds as she is poised to meet two high-class rivals in unbeaten pair Brighterdaysahead and Dysart Enos.

“She’s a lovely, big mare and she’s done nothing wrong so far – she’s been very impressive,” said Peter Molony, racing manager to owner Kenny Alexander.

“I think it’s going to be a very hot race and in it you are going to have Fergal O’Brien’s Dysart Enos and Brighterdaysahead, who Gordon Elliott can’t stop talking about.

“It’s going to be a hot race and not one that will be won easily. All three of those girls look really exciting, but hopefully we can come out on top.”

Mullins and Alexander will also be represented at the Cheltenham Festival in the Triumph Hurdle as Kargese will attempt to go one place better than connections’ Gala Marceau a year ago.

Image: Kargese will attempt to go one better than Gala Marceau

The filly followed in Gala Marceau’s footsteps by clinching the Grade One Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown and will now face the challenge of toppling Triumph Hurdle favourite Sir Gino, who staked a striking claim on Cheltenham Trials day.

Molony said: “Last year with Gala Marceau was a bit of a surprise and we probably got a little bit lucky, but this year we won the race on merit.

“We were quite hopeful and she’s a high-class horse, so now we’re going to take on Mr Henderson and his Sir Gino.

“I think there was probably more depth in Kargese’s race than the one Sir Gino won, but he was definitely impressive and could be tough to beat.”

Source : Sky Sports