Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 15:30 29/04/2015
Since the Willie Mullins-trained record-breaking Hurricane Fly beat Jessica Harrington's Jezki by two and a half lengths in Leopardstown's Grade 1 Ryanair Hurdle in December 2013 the two hurdlers have been the subject of several protracted battles over the years but at Punchestown on Thursday evening the pair will lock horns once again, but on this occasion both horses will be trying the three mile trip of the Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle for the first time.
Two and a half mile is the furthest either horse has encountered so far, Jezki beating Rock On Ruby over that distance at Aintree earlier this month, but one has to go back to December 2010 to find Hurricane Fly's only venture over the trip when getting the better of old rival Solwhit by a length and a half in the Bar One Racing Hattons Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse. It will be fascinating to find out which horse is better suited by the extra four furlongs of the Punchestown Grade 1 contest but with the ground likley to suit the JP McManus-owned seven-year-old rather than his older rival Jezki is taken to come out on top at the 3-1 quoted by Ladbrokes where punters get money back if Hurricane Fly wins.
Should neither horse prove to have the neccessary stamina required there are plenty of challengers waiting to take advantage, most notably Dedigout, Lieutenant Colonel and the improving I Shot The Sheriff from the stable of Tony Martin. The first two have both won over three mile and post solid credentials but the last named is a son of the high-class stayer Westerner, is lightly raced and despite just winning a handicap last time is progressive and open to plenty more improvement and could be a viable alternative to the big two at the 16-1 widely on offer.
1 Point Win Jezki 3-1 Ladbrokes