It’s impossible to oppose Jezki on his seasonal bow in today’s Grade 2 WKD Hurdle in Down Royal.
The classy five-year-old has been beaten only once in five starts over hurdles, when finishing a close and highly creditable third behind Champagne Fever and My Tent Or Yours in the William Hill Supreme Novices Hurdle in Cheltenham.
Jessica Harrington’s charge has already won three times at Grade 1 level, having captured the Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse, the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown and, following his Cheltenham third, the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown, which he won impressively by 16 lengths from Ted Veale with Champagne Fever third.
That’s top-notch novice form. And it has earned him a lofty spot in the ante-post market for the 2014 Champion Hurdle.
So, with an official rating of 161, Jezki should prove a cut above his four rivals, which include Gordon Elliott’s Flaxen Flare and the Paul Nicholls-trained Caid Du Berlais, first and second in the ‘Fred Winter’ at Cheltenham.
Harry Kelly’s Que Pasa, successful twice in Galway during the summer and runner-up to King Of The Picts in a Grade 3 novice event at Tipperary last time, sets the standard in the Grade 3 Lough Construction Ltd. Mares Hurdle.
And the Noel Meade-trained Mullaghanoe River should have strong claims in his bid to make a winning start over fences in the Porter & Co. Beginners Chase.
Meanwhile, Lily’s Angel, only a half-length off snatching Group 1 success when beaten by La Collina in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown last month, looks the one to beat in the listed Cooley Stakes in Dundalk tonight.
The Ger Lyons-trained filly, successful at listed and Grade 3 level this season, is suited by the polytrack, is drawn well and is taking a significant drop in class.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved