Jezki had to fight hard to land the Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse after a blunder at the final flight.
- Related Content
The five-year-old travelled smoothly under A P McCoy for a large part of the race and moved to the front when the champion jockey pressed the button just before the final flight of hurdles.
However, the 4/6 favourite fluffed his lines, jumping awkwardly and almost letting runner-up Zaidpour get back at him on in the run-in. The five-year-old fought back well though to record a solid, if uninspiring, length-and-a-quarter victory.
McCoy thought his mount produced a thoroughly professional performance, despite the mistake at the last.
"It was a decent performance and I though he did it pretty well," said the jockey.
"He missed the last fence out but it was case of getting him over it and he did. I gave him a squeeze after that and he responded nicely - he's obviously a smart horse.
"The early leader (Diakali) went a nice gallop, which we were hoping for. When a horse goes that far clear, you have to ride your own race and you have to do what you think is right.
"He kept going and it was a really professional performance. It was a bit like My Tent Or Yours yesterday as he was a decent novice but they are both going to have to improve to beat Hurricane Fly."
Trainer Jessie Harrington said: "The horse going off miles in front is not good for the nerves, but he made the ground up easy.
"It was looking all right until the last and he made a nonsense of it. I don't think AP (McCoy) had to hit him, maybe just a slap down the shoulder. AP was very pleased with him.
"He proved he gets two and a half miles and that's the main thing, but he'd be better over a fast run two miles.
"He's a lot more relaxed than he was. He dropped the bridle and travelled nice and relaxed today. That also helped him get the trip.
"He's definitely better going left-handed and we'll keep him at two miles.
"The owner has got My Tent Or Yours as well, so I suppose it will all depend what they want to do.
"We'll let the dust settle before we make a plan."
Sky Bet left Jezki at 8/1 for the Champion Hurdle. Owner J P McManus could have a strong hand in the race as he also has current 4/1 joint-favourite My Tent Or Yours, who was impressive when winning the StanJames.com Fighting Fifth at Newcastle on Saturday.
"Whereas My Tent Or Yours was visually impressive in the Fighting Fifth, you couldn't say the same about Jezki," said Sky Bet spokesman Michael Shinners.
"He's probably going to be a bit better than the bare form but we don't see any need to cut his Champion Hurdle price at this point in proceedings."