Jezki shows his class with Istabraq triumph

Sun 1 Oct 2017

Jezki rolled back the years when upstaging younger rivals to make a winning reappearance in the Istabraq Hurdle at Tipperary.

The 2014 Champion Hurdle hero was well beaten on his last start in April, but showed his class as he comfortably took the Grade Three spoils.

Coquin Mans set out to make all and though he stuck to his guns, he had no answer to Jezki (6-1) once Mark Walsh sent Jessica Harrington's nine-year-old to the front between the last two flights.

The JP McManus-owned Jezki galloped on strongly to beat Coquin Mans by four lengths, with Ex Patriot a head away in third. McManus' other runner Jer's Girl, the choice of the owner's number one rider Barry Geraghty, was fourth.

Harrington, who also won the two-year-old maiden with Whirling Dervish, said: "That was fantastic and great to come here early in the year and see how he was, and he just seems to have got back his old spark.

"He never really got it back last year, I don't know why, but he has had a good summer and seems well in himself.

"He did it hands and heels there and he surprised me as I thought he'd blow up. He has class, and class won it for him at the end of the day."

She added: "I have absolutely no plan - I have no idea and I'll enjoy today. He's a great horse and to get him back like that is amazing.

"Things never went right last year and in a way I was under pressure too and he was under pressure to get back, having missed a whole year.

"People probably thought 'that's it, retire him' after his last run last year, but we didn't and he's a smashing horse and a pleasure to have around the place."

Psychedelic Funk struck a blow for the three-year-olds with a first Pattern-race success in the Group Three Coolmore Stud Home Of Champions Concorde Stakes.

Colin Keane made a winning move when sending the Ger Lyons-trained colt into the lead a furlong and a half out, after seasoned veteran Gordon Lord Byron had taken the field well into the straight.

After going a couple of lengths clear, Psychedelic Funk (6-1) had to be kept up to his work to hold the 15-8 favourite Downforce by half a length. Spanish Tenor was a further length and three-quarters away in third.

Lyons' brother and assistant, Shane, said: "We're thrilled with that and he is a fine big horse, we are really looking forward to his four-year-old career. That's when he is going to come into his own.

"We were very worried about whether or not he'd handle the heavy ground and while he handled summer heavy last season, his heart got him through today.

"He is still a bit of a baby and idled in front and got through the ground by his ability. He'll be better on better ground and will be a proper stakes horse over a mile next year.

"We always thought he was one of the best two-year-olds we've ever had and still think he's one of the best horses we've had.

"He has gone on that ground now and the Lockinge Stakes in May could be a target."

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