Hurricane Fly and Jezki renew rivalry with the three mile trip the big unknown
The Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle at Punchestown (5.30pm) features an intriguing clash between two former Champion Hurdle runners, Hurricane Fly and Jezki, who are both trying 3m for the first time.
The pair finished third and fourth respectively in last month’s renewal of the Champion Hurdle and Jezki has since come out and won over 2m4f at Aintree, where he perhaps benefited from the last hurdle fall of Arctic Fire. A half-brother to last year’s winner of this race Jetson, he promises to stay this far. The same can be said for Hurricane Fly and, indeed, the 11-year-old could be even better suited by staying contests at this stage of his career.
However, they’ve both got to prove their stamina on the track and the current odds of 9/4 and 3/1 are simply not big enough to compensate for any doubts on that score. On the the hand, 7/1 on proven stayer DEDIGOUT looks a steal. Tony Martin’s rejuvenated hurdler has been in fine form this season, winning three Grade 2 races, and was unsuited by the quick ground when pulled up in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham. With rain having hit the track this week, he will find conditions far more to his liking and could well outstay the leading pair. Bryan Cooper, who is 3-3 on him this season, is back on board and he has the tactical nous to ensure this is a proper stamina test.
The brilliant Arkle winner Un De Sceaux has scared away most of the opposition on the Ryanair Novice Chase (6.40pm) and this should amount to no more than an exercise canter, with only Smashing likely to put up any resistance. Unfortunately, he won’t be making us rich at odds of 1/6.
One who could win us a few quid at the current 5/1 is Richard Fahey’s LOOM OF LIFE, who contests the 1m1f handicap (3.55pm) at the seaside track. The three-year-old showed little in three runs at two and started this season on a lowly handicap mark of 64 as a result, serving notice he can win off it when finishing third on his reappearance at Newcastle. Gelded since last season and still green on his return, there is almost certainly better to come from him and his stable has a great record in this race, with three winners and a second from four runners.
He has David O’Meara’s Thankstomonty to beat after that horse ran second behind a well-backed favourite on his seasonal debut at Beverley. He has a race in him off his current mark on that evidence, but will need to learn how to settle better before reaching his full potential.