Caid Du Berlais was conceding 5lb to Flaxen Flare in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham and an 8lb turnaround suggests there will be very little between tham though the latter does have a fitness advantage. Massini's Trap disappointed badly at Limerick after beating the useful King Of The Picts at Listowel while Courtly Conduct will have to have made major progress to get involved. This is all about JEZKI, who put a narrow defeat in the Supreme Novices at Cheltenham behind him to slam his rivals in the Champion Novices at Punchestown and is expected to take the highest order amongst hurdlers this campaign.
Jezki (IRE) 2-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders in 3rd, close 3rd 2 out, improved to lead entering straight, ridden clear before last, stayed on strongly run-in, impressive, won at Punchestown 2m nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Apr beating Ted Veale (11-12) by 16l, 6 ran.
Courtly Conduct (IRE) 9-4fav (11-12) Tracked leaders, close up travelling well from before straight, soon led and clear, stayed on well, comfortably, won at Limerick 2m mdn hdl hvy in Dec beating Captainofthefleet (11-12) by 6l, 16 ran.
Flaxen Flare (IRE) 1-9fav (11-10) Raced in 2nd, closed up 4 out, led from next, clear and flicked the top of 2 out, cruised up the run-in, reduced lead near finish but never troubled, won at Cork 2m 4yo hdl gd in Aug beating Massini's Trap (11-6) by 1l, 3 ran.
Caid Du Berlais (FR) 20-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, not fluent 3rd, headway approaching 2 out, went 2nd just after last, stayed on, no impression on winner, 2nd of 24, 4 1/2l behind Flaxen Flare (10-7) at Cheltenham 2m (1) gs in Mar.
Massini's Trap (IRE) 9-10fav (11-3) Soon raced in poor 4th of the 5, not always fluent jumping, bad mistake 4 out, ridden from next, moderate 3rd before 2 out, soon no impression, kept on same pace, 3rd of 5, 10l behind Roja Dove (10-7) at Limerick 2m 2f 4yo hdl gd in Oct.