Jezki is Punchestown Champion for Milan

Jezki (Milan) winning the G1 Racing Post Champion Hurdle at Punchestown

Jezki (6g Milan-La Noire, by Phardante) followed up his G1 Champion Hurdle victory at Cheltenham with success in the G1 Racing Post Champion Hurdle at Punchestown on Friday, seeing off 20-time G1 winner Hurricane Fly.

Jezki, whose half-brother Jetson (9g Oscar-La Noire, by Phardante) won Thursday’s G1 World Hurdle at Punchestown, came home three and a quarter lengths clear of Hurricane Fly under A P McCoy to the delight of trainer Jessica Harrington.

“He came back fresh from Cheltenham but you never know how they are until you run them. I’m delighted to have won because if he had been beaten people would have said it was a soft Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham,” said Harrington.

“The horse is fresh and keen and he jumped better when they went quicker. He is only six, he’s a young horse and I’d say he’ll stay hurdling for next season and take a similar route as this time.”

McCoy believes his mount, bred by Gerry McGrath, is still on the upgrade and added: “Jezki felt better today than he has ever felt. Sometimes horses get confidence from winning and he was definitely better today than he ever was.

“It was not ideal being in front. Jezki has a tendency to jump left and it is more exaggerated when he is out in front, but he felt like a proper Champion Hurdle horse today.”

Milan, who was also responsible for Wednesday’s G1 novice hurdle winner Beat That (6g Milan-Knotted Midge, by Presenting), had a second smart winner trained by Harrington on Friday.

Operating (7g Milan-Seymourswift, by Seymour Hicks), bred by G C Hartigan, captured the Grade A €100,000 Aon Novice Handicap Chase by three-quarters of a length under Robbie Power.

“He had been disappointing on heavy ground but he was much better the other day when he won at Cork and I think that gave him confidence. He got his act together today and jumped brilliantly.

“He needs good ground so he’s going to end up a spring and autumn horse and we could also go for the Galway Plate. He’s a lovely horse and is going to end up a really good staying chaser.”

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