Red Mills Trial Hurdle to sort Jezki’s Cheltenham target
Jezki: nine-year-old is 12-1 for another Champion Hurdle triumph
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos) Gowran Park date next for festival hope Jezki By James Burn 11:15AM 8 FEB 2017
JEZKI, who is prominent in the betting for the Stan James Champion Hurdle and Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle, will have his Cheltenham Festival target determined after he runs at Gowran Park on Saturday week.
Trainer Jessica Harrington confirmed on Wednesday her 2014 Champion Hurdle hero would be aimed at the Grade 2 Red Mills Trial Hurdle.
He is owned by JP McManus, who has the favourites for both races in Buveur D'Air (Champion) and Unowhatimeanharry (Stayers').
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"It was an ideal race for him rather than chucking him in at the deep end in the Irish Champion Hurdle," Harrington said of Jezki's comeback victory.
"It was a nice race for him and he did it without much fuss and he's now going to the Red Mills at Gowran Park on Saturday week and then we'll decide on the Champion Hurdle or Stayers' Hurdle. We'll keep our options open."
Irish Gold Cup
Plans for another of Harrington's stable stars could become clearer on Sunday when Sizing John contests the Stan James Irish Gold Cup.
Like Jezki, he has more than one option at the festival and is a general 7-1 chance for the Ryanair Chase, while BoyleSports offer 50-1 for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Sizing John won the Kinloch Brae Chase over 2m4f under Robbie Power at Thurles last time and will be stepped up in trip to 3m on Sunday. Harrington added on At The Races: "He's been good since his last run and I'm very happy with him. Robert rode him this morning and was delighted with him and hopefully he'll be able to ride him on Sunday because he knows him.
"Unfortunately he happens to be the same generation as Douvan and has finished second to him five times and third twice.
"So it seemed the logical move to step him up to two and a half and he did that well at Thurles. There's no harm trying him over three miles as he's a very relaxed horse.
"Let's just see what happens with the races at Cheltenham, but you imagine the logical aim would be the Ryanair. We'll leave our options open though."
Leopardstown's star-studded card on Sunday also includes the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase for which Our Duke – a poptential Gold Cup horse next season according to Harrington – is pencilled in.
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