Gowran: Tombstone drops Jezki for Red Mills win

Tombstone: landed the Grade 3 Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park

PICTURE: Caroline Norris (racingpost.com/photos) Tombstone drops Jezki
in Red Mills Trial Hurdle
By Keith Melrose 3:39PM 18 FEB 2017

Report: Gowran Park, Saturday

Red Mills Trial Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m, 4yo+

A DOWNCAST afternoon for owner JP McManus' Champion Hurdle team was completed as second-favourite Tombstone overcame Jezki to take the Red Mills Trial Hurdle under Bryan Cooper.

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Cooper, who was on his first day back riding after fracturing his pelvis, took up the running on Tombstone soon after four out and quickly boiled the race down to a two-way go between the market leaders.

Mark Walsh aboard the 2-5 favourite Jezki looked to have Tombstone covered early in the straight, but it was already clear that he had a fight on his hands before he flattened the last and yielded to a four-length defeat, just over a length ahead of the plugging-on Rashaan.

Cooper said afterwards: "We always thought he was a fair horse. I had been looking forward to chasing with him this year, but there's always next year.

"I made sure it was a strong pace and it's worked out nicely, he's done it well."

Jezki's trainer Jessica Harrington said: "We've always known he hates that heavy ground. He beat Tombstone on it before but was getting weight that day so it's virtually been the same race there today off level weights."

"We're still going to Cheltenham with him. What race that's for we'll decide in the next couple of days."

Jezki had been backed for the Stayers' Hurdle in recent days but was eased to 14-1 (from 11-2) by BetVictor after Saturday's race and 25-1 (from 12s) for the Champion Hurdle with Coral. Tombstone is entered for neither race.

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