Hurricane Fly staked his claim to win a third stanjames.com Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March with an emphatic victory over two powerful young pretenders in Leopardstown's Ryanair Hurdle.
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In the process, the nine-year-old was achieving a world record 18th top-level victory in this Grade One contest.
It was Captain Cee Bee who attempted to put some pace into the race in the early stages after overtaking early leader Thousand Stars going to the second flight.
The 12-year-old raced into a clear advantage going down the back straight but the rest of the field largely ignored the leader, preffering to fight a private battle in behind.
Jezki, in the same ownership as Captain Cee Bee, first set about closing in on the leader after the second-last flight.
But he didn't quite have the tactical pace to match his rivals at that vital stage and was hemmed in by Danny Mullins aboard Our Conor, leaving Tony McCoy's mount with nowhere to go going to the final flight as the pacesetter dropped back.
Hurricane Fly, meanwhile, was travelling powerfully down the outside of the pack, and when Ruby Walsh asked the winner to go clear the response was immediate.
The 11/10 favourite stayed on strongly to score by two and a half lengths, with Jezki, switched out wide by McCoy to get past Our Conor, staying on late for second place.
Mullins said: "It was a hugely tactical race and Ruby was very cool on him.
"At one stage I thought the leader (Captain Cee Bee) had got away in front, and Ruby had to quicken up a bit sooner than he would have liked to.
"We spent a long time getting him to settle and, as a result, he's inclined to go to sleep early in his races. Because of that, we've changed slightly the way we've trained him.
"He'll be back here at the end of January (Irish Champion Hurdle) and then it will be Cheltenham. He's coming along and is going to improve again.
"He's a fantastic horse and a horse of a generation."
"I didn't foresee Captain Cee Bee doing what he did, but it worked out nice for me," an emotional Walsh told At The Races. "It made it a real test of stamina.
"Look, he's still there. It's no good having these horses for one year. You have to look after them and that's what Willie's been doing.
"For whatever reason, he hasn't always been at his best at Cheltenham even though he has won a couple, or maybe if I'd ridden him differently he might have been going back there going for four, but we'll look forward to the Irish Champion with him first."
Trainer Jessica Harrington accepted Jezki had been beaten by "a champion". She said: "A strong-run race would have suited him.
"Going to the last, it looked like he'd be a bad third, and he ended up being a good second.
"He's still only a five-year-old and I'm delighted with him.
"But if you're going to get beaten, you get beaten by a champion."
Jezki was two and a half lengths behind Hurricane Fly, while Our Conor was third, another three and a quarter lengths adrift.
Dessie Hughes, trainer of Our Conor, was satisfied with last season's Triumph Hurdle winner on what was his first start over hurdles since the Cheltenham Festival in March.
He said: "I felt coming here if he got to within a few lengths (of Hurricane Fly) it would be a good run.
"It's his first run over hurdles in eight months and his first time against older horses.
"I was very happy with the run and I think he'll come on for it."
Sky Bet promoted Hurricane Fly to 7/2 from 9/2 in their stanjames.com Champion Hurdle betting, with Jezki now an 8/1 chance for the same contest, just behind Our Conor (7/1).
Spokesman Michael Shinners said: "The Champion Hurdle is building up into a fascinating race. It's great to see Hurricane Fly is still at the top of the tree but the younger hurdlers are lining up to have another crack at him and there was plenty of encouragement for the connections of Jezki at Leopardstown."