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Hurricane Fly and Jezki to battle in Ryanair Hurdle

December 28, 2014 14:09:14 UK

Willie Mullins sees Faugheen as a threat to Hurricane Fly at Leopardstown on Monday.

Hurricane Fly and Jezki will do battle for the sixth time at Leopardstown in Monday’s Ryanair Hurdle and both camps are confident of claiming the win.

Hurricane Fly has won three of the five encounters between the two horses. His most recent success was in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown where he rolled back the years to claim victory by two and a quarter lengths.

Trainer Willie Mullins is understandably upbeat about his chances on Monday but is aware that it will be tough for the ten-year-old to maintain his excellent record, which stands at 20 Grade One triumphs and three previous victories in this specific race.

Speaking ahead of the Ryanair Hurdle, Mullins highlighted rising star Faugheen as a major threat in 2015, saying: “No matter what Hurricane Fly is doing, it is going to be tough to repeat what he has done for the last few years.

“If you were a betting man you’d say he’s not going to repeat it and that Faugheen is the one on the way up.”

Meanwhile, Hurricane Fly has beaten Jezki four times in his last five races, including in the Ryanair Hurdle this time last year. However, Jezki did win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, with Hurricane Fly all the way back in fourth.

Frank Berry, racing manager to owner JP McManus, admits that the race will be tough but the whole team is looking forward to it.

He said: “Hurricane Fly is a great horse and is very good round Leopardstown.

“The ground looks ideal for him and he’ll be very hard to beat.

“Jezki’s in good form and it will be an exciting race.”

Hurricane Fly is 1.80 to win the Ryanair Hurdle, with Jezki 2.25.

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