The Jessica Harrington-trained Jezki (4g Milan-La Noire, by Phardante) made it three wins from as many starts over hurdles when seeing off some high-class rivals to win the G1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
Barry Geraghty waited patiently aboard the son of Milan before swooping late to beat Champagne Fever by a length and a half.
“I’m absolutely thrilled, it all went to plan. Barry said that’s what he was going to do – sit in behind the others,” Harrington told irishracing.com. “When Barry 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.”
William Hill make Gerard McGrath’s home-bred 8/1 joint-favourite for the G1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival and Harrington confirmed that race is the plan.
“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. 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.”
Milan was also responsible for the sale-topper at the DBS Hennessy Sale at Newbury on Saturday night.
Four-year-old Master Malt (4g Milan-Mrs Malt, by Presenting), who finished second in an Ayr bumper on his only start for owner-breeder Richard Robinson of Distillery Stud, made £140,000 when selling to trainer Jonjo O’Neill.