Hurricane Fly ready for clash with Our Conor in Ryanair Hurdle
The performances of My Tent Or Yours and The New One have been making the headlines so far this season in the build-up to the Champion Hurdle. Hurricane Fly makes his seasonal debut in the Ryanair Hurdle against the consistent Jezki and the young pretender Our Conor.
Our Conor emerged as a Champion Hurdle candidate when he bolted up in the Triumph Hurdle at the festival in March. He cruised clear to beat Far West and Sametegal by fifteen lengths and two and a quarter lengths.
The form of the Triumph has not worked out particularly well but it is a long time since the race has been won so convincingly. He had a nice run on the flat at Naas in October when running on into fourth place and Dessie Hughes is confident that he is up to Champion Hurdle class.
Jezki was third in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle behind Champagne Fever and My Tent Or Yours. He won convincingly at Punchestown in April and has opened his season with two further victories.
He was not that impressive at Fairyhouse when beating Zaidpour last time but that was over two and a half miles and the runner-up won here on Saturday. Tony McCoy rides the five-year-old who enjoys a fitness edge over his two main rivals.
Hurricane Fly has been a phenomenon over hurdles, winning two Champion Hurdles and all but one of his last fifteen races. That defeat came in the Champion Hurdle in 2012 behind Rock On Ruby but he reversed the form in March.
If Willie Mullins has him anywhere close to his best, he is still the one to beat. Hurricane Fly is currently 6-1 for the Champion with Our Conor at 5-1 and Jezki at 8-1.
The Leopardstown card also stages the Grade 1 Topaz Novice Chase which could provide some early clues to the RSA Chase. Ruby Walsh teams up with the favourite Morning Assembly whilst Dessie Hughes is again strongly represented by Bright New Dawn.