• Racing/
  • Jezki Proves Best Bar None

Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m

  • (4yo+, 2m, Class 1, 6 runners)
  • Winner €48,750 2nd €14,250 3rd €6,750 4th €2,250
  • Going: Soft, Heavy in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 2.50s
  • Off time: 13:06:01
  • Last Updated: December 2 2012, 16:23 GMT

Jezki completed his hat-trick with victory in the Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

Barry Geraghty: Partnered Jezki
Barry Geraghty: Partnered Jezki

Jessica Harrington's charge was sent off at 9/4 as Willie Mullins' Cheltenham bumper winner Champagne Fever headed the market.

Mullins' grey took the field along in the Grade One contest, closely followed throughout by Minsk, Jezki and Clonbanan Lad with Midnight Oil and Zuzka a little adrift.

Midnight Oil was the first of the sextet to struggle as Ruby Walsh poured it on from the front with Clonbanan Lad the next to crack.

Minsk couldn't go with the leader but Paul Townend had crept into contention on the inside aboard Zuzka with Barry Geraghty challenging down the outer aboard the eventual winner.

Jezki joined issue at the last and the four year old son of Milan showed the better speed on the level, pulling nicely clear of his rival to maintain his unbeaten record over hurdles.

Geraghty said: "We were hoping he'd do that - he showed great pace at Naas. He was very good, although I think he is better than that. There's a lot to like about him."

Harrington said: "I'm absolutely thrilled, it all went to plan. Barry said that's what he was going to do - sit in behind the others.

"When he gave him a squeeze three out he knew he had a lot of horse.

"He was straight and true where it mattered and when they were going a bit quicker he concentrated more.

"The Supreme Novices' is the long-term target as he's a two-miler. We'll have to discuss plans with the owner but he'll have at least one more run before Cheltenham.

"He could easily run at Christmas (if the ground is good) and after that I don't know.

"He's only four and he's bound to improve a bit for more experience. I was a little bit worried about going right-handed for the first time as all his runs have been left-handed.

"He's always wanted better ground. The whole family want it on top and I'd imagine he'll be better on better ground too."

Owner Rich Ricci said of runner-up Champagne Fever: "He needs further - we were right in thinking that.

"He ran a good race - beaten by a good horse, probably the only real two-miler in the line-up.

"We'll learn from this and probably stretch him up in distance. It's what we do in March that counts."

Hurricane Fly and Hardy Eustace are among recent winners of this two mile contest; the latter went on to score at the Cheltenham Festival and Jezki was cut to 10/1 from 16s to do just that in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle by Sky Bet.

The Leeds layers' Ken Dickson remarked: "He put up an impressive performance in beating the Willie Mullins trained Champagne Fever in the Royal Bond. He is now three from three over hurdles and deserves his place towards the head of the market for the Cheltenham Festival opener.

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