Brighterdaysahead enjoys Sunday stroll at Navan

Gordon Elliott’s charge warms up for Cheltenham with easy win.

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.”

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