Three of the brightest stars of Irish jumping face each other for the second time in a month in a fascinating contest. The great champion HURRICANE FLY gained the 18th Grade 1 victory of his remarkable career in the Ryanair here last month when the young pretenders Jezki and Our Conor were left trailing in his wake. The fact that the placed pair take him on again speaks volumes for the confidence their connections have of toppling the champion. It was a tactical affair when the trio, plus long-time leader Captain Cee Bee, met last time and the chief sufferer was Jezki, who was boxed in by Our Conor as Hurricane Fly swept by. Whether he would have had the gears to go with the winner is another matter and it could be Our Conor who is more of a threat. Unlike his rivals, he hadn't had a recent run over jumps to put him straight and he only faded on the run-in so he should strip fitter this time. The champion is taken to consolidate his position though if Captain Cee Bee is ridden with more restraint there could be a different outcome.
Captain Cee Bee (IRE) 66-1 (11-10) Held up in last early, swift headway to lead after 1st and soon clear, reduced advantage 2 out, ridden and headed before last, no extra and kept on one pace, 4th of 5, 10l behind Hurricane Fly (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m hdl G1 (1) sft in Dec.
Hurricane Fly (IRE) 11-10fav (11-10) Soon held up in last, 4th before 2 out, progress entering straight, improved to dispute lead before last, ridden and asserted run-in, kept on well, won at Leopardstown 2m hdl G1 (1) sft in Dec beating Jezki (11-10) by 2 1/2l, 5 ran.
Jezki (IRE) 15-8 (11-10) Held up, moderate 3rd halfway, improved to 2nd 4 out, closed on leader 2 out, ridden in 3rd entering straight, kept on and not clear run before last, switched out, stayed on to 2nd run-in, no impression winner, 2nd of 5, 2 1/2l behind Hurricane Fly (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m hdl G1 (1) sft in Dec.
Our Conor (IRE) 3-1 (11-7) Held up, moderate 4th halfway, 3rd 3 out, progress into 2nd entering straight, ridden to dispute lead before last, 2nd and no extra run-in, 3rd closing stages, 3rd of 5, 6l behind Hurricane Fly (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m hdl G1 (1) sft in Dec.