Apple's Jade has returned to winning ways.
The Gordan Elliot trained, Gigginstown House Stud owned mare was guided to victory by 20-year-old Jack Kennedy in the feature race of the day on day three of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival - the Frank Ward Memorial Hurdle.
The Harry Fry trained Unowatimeanharry was second with Willie Mullins' Penhill coming in third.
Elliott's star mare had had a poor 2019 but the punters were still confident of her abilities and she was sent off the 6-4 joint-favourite with Bacardys.
11 Grade 1 wins
14 career wins
3rd consecutive Christmas Hurdle wins
Apples Jade is back with a bang 🍎 ❤️
Well done to all of the winning connections of Apples Jade on a very well deserved win 👏 #Superstar #LRCChristmas pic.twitter.com/lep2zVCW5I
— Leopardstown RC (@LeopardstownRC) December 28, 2019
Unowhatimeanharry and Penhill tried to close in on her towards the end after Kiltullagh Vic put up a fight but Apple's Jade had plenty left in reserve to win at the highest level for the 11th time, coming home 17 lengths ahead.
Jack Kennedy also guided the Dermot Weld Dalton Highway to victory in the Handicap Hurdle after the big one to cap off a great day for him.
Meanwhile, there was a shock in the feature race of the day at Limerick.
The 20/1 shot Liam Burke trained Sumos Novios was guided to victory by Derek O'Connor in the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Steeplechase.
The Henry De Bromhead trained 11/2 favourite Minella Times was second ahead of Joseph O'Brien's Shady Operator.
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