Wednesday 17 January 2018

Hurricane Fly goes head to head with Jezki as Champion Hurdle down to field of three

Jezki, with Barry Geraghty up, left, beat My Tent or Yours, with Tony McCoy up, to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham
Jezki, with Barry Geraghty up, left, beat My Tent or Yours, with Tony McCoy up, to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham

HURRICANE Fly and Jezki are two of only three horses declared for the Racing Post Champion Hurdle at Punchestown on Friday.

The two big guns look to have the race to themselves in the Grade One feature and tactics are likely to play a big part in the outcome.

The Willie Mullins-trained Hurricane Fly is chasing a fifth successive win in the race and a remarkable 20th victory at the top level.

However, he defends his Punchestown crown on the back of a below-par performance in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham where he was only fourth to Jezki, a horse he had beaten in his two previous starts in the Irish Champion Hurdle and the Ryanair Hurdle. The 10-year-old also won the Champion Novice Hurdle in 2009.

Jezki is trained by Jessica Harrington, who is also responsible for the third member of the party, Steps To Freedom.

The four horses taken out at the 48-hour final declaration stage were Court Minstrel, Diakali, Annie Power and Quevega.

Press Association

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