Brighterdaysahead looks set to head to Cheltenham with high hopes after winning the Apple’s Jade Mares Novice Hurdle at Navan with ease.
The Gordon Elliott-trained five-year-old came into the race unbeaten in four starts, having taken two bumpers and a couple of hurdle contests – latterly the Grade Three Feathard Lady Mares Novice Hurdle at Down Royal in November.
She was the 1-3 favourite when stepping up in trip at Navan for a Listed heat over two miles and five furlongs, a significant increase from her previous outings at two miles or two miles and a furlong.
The extra distance clearly did not hinder her at all, however, as she travelled and jumped with ease throughout and was left to stroll home to a 12-length success under Jack Kennedy.
Her odds have now been trimmed for the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival, moving from 7-2 to 3-1 with Betfair and Coral.
“She’s a good mare, a proper mare. She is very, very good, I don’t say that about too many,” said Elliott.
“Jack said he couldn’t get a lead any longer on her and he said she wasn’t doing a stroke in front.
“She’ll come on from it too, as we missed a little bit of time with her – nothing serious, just niggly things.
“She’s got a pedigree to be nice and her future is in front of her. She looks like a chaser.
“I’d say at the moment she doesn’t want that far, she’s got a bit of boot for a big mare, but we had nothing else to run her in because I missed her last engagement and I didn’t want to go to England with her.”