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Jezki to Make Supreme Start at Festival
24/01/13

The Grade 1 William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle is the first event on Tuesday 12th March, the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival and it promises to be an intriguing affair.

Last year's event saw trainer Donald McCain grab the glory with Cinders And Ashes, a five-year-old ridden by Jason Maguire.

Jezki
© Caroline Norris

Jezki

This year, the early 7/2 favourite in the William Hill Cheltenham Festival betting is the Jessica Harrington trained Jezki.

The five-year-old stretched his unbeaten record over hurdles to four with a brilliant display at Leopardstown in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle on December 27.

Subsequently, leading owner JP McManus purchased the gelding, but will be leaving the training in the hands Harrington at Commonstown Stables.

Harrington has decided to keep him fresh for his big day in March, so he will not run again before the Festival.

"He will be a better horse on better ground. He will probably go straight to Cheltenham," Harrington told At The Races.

"I haven't really talked to Frank Berry (McManus's racing manager) yet, but the horse was always going to have a bit of a break now and we're basically going to train him for Cheltenham and then Punchestown."

Regarding the change of ownership, Harrington said: "I'm just the trainer and I'm delighted the horse has changed hands and is staying in the yard, which for me is the most important thing."

Other contenders for the race include Un Atout, who looked a star of the future as he demolished the opposition under Davy Russell in a Novice Hurdle at Naas on January 19.

could be the "forgotten horse" of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, according to his owners.

The Willie Mullins-trained Pique Sous finished third in the Champion Bumper last year but has only run twice over hurdles, finishing second on the first occasion in August before returning in October at Thurles where he never came off the bridle to win by five lengths.

Oliver Sherwood feels Puffin Billy has a realistic chance after his latest effortless success in the Mitie Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle at Ascot on December 21.

My Tent Or Yours was an facile winner of the 2m½f novice hurdle at Huntingdon on January 11. Running in the colours of JP McManus, he led three out and hacked up by seven lengths from Population.

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