Past Winners » Jezki


Message of 26th February 2014

I have come around to the idea that Jezki has a far better chance of winning the Champion Hurdle than odds of 10/1 suggest, and I am backing him this morning at that, non-runner-no-bet. I am happy to add him to our bet on Our Conor in the race.

Jessica Harrington’s horse has suddenly become unfashionable, mainly on the back of his most recent run when he finished fourth of four in the Irish Champion Hurdle. However, it is easy to put a line through that run. He was held up out the back off a sedate pace, he raced too freely, he was never well-positioned and, even with all of that, although he finished last, he was actually only beaten three lengths by the winner Hurricane Fly.

On his previous run, he had finished second to Hurricane Fly, beaten just over two lengths, but again he was not suited by the way the race was run. He got into a barging match with Our Conor on the run to the final flight, he had to be switched to the outside, and he finished best of all.

We know that Jezki is a top class horse. As a novice, he was a close-up third in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last year after getting the final flight wrong, and he won the Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle, beating Champagne Fever by 17 lengths. On his first two runs this season, he won the Grade 2 graduation hurdle at Down Royal and the Grade 1 Hatton’s Grace Hurdle.

It looks like AP McCoy is going to ride My Tent Or Yours in the Champion. That is not surprising, he won the Christmas Hurdle on him. But he has said all season that there isn’t much between the two horses, which there isn’t. But there is in the market, My Tent Or Yours is a 9/2 shot, while we can back Jezki at 10/1. There is no doubt where the value lies.

Jezki should be much happier on the faster ground that he should get at Cheltenham, and he should also benefit from being ridden more handily than he was last time at Cheltenham. It looks like Un De Sceaux is going to skip the race and, if he does, there is no obvious pace-setter in it. In that case, it might not be a bad idea for Jezki to race very handily, or even lead, as he did at Down Royal.

As My Tent Or Yours is Nicky Henderson’s only horse in the race, that leaves Barry Geraghty free to take the ride on Jezki. Geraghty has ridden Jezki four times, and he has won on him four times. He may not win, but there is very little between the top five in the market on form, and he shouldn’t be a 10/1 shot.

JEZKI WON (ADV 10/1, SP 9/1)