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Jezki wins Champion Hurdle but tragedy strikes for Our Conor

Barry Geraghty and trainer Jessica Harrington got the better of Hurricane Fly in today’s big race.

Jezki ridden by Barry Geraghty from My Tent Or Yours ridden by Tony McCoy (right).
Jezki ridden by Barry Geraghty from My Tent Or Yours ridden by Tony McCoy (right).
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

IRISH RUNNER JEZKI gave jockey Barry Geraghty his second win and trainer Jessica Harrington her first in the Champion Hurdle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival this afternoon.

The six-year-old — who Geraghty has never lost on in five rides — won in a thrilling finish from My Tent Or Yours ridden by Tony McCoy, who had opted for the ride on the runner-up rather than the winner.

For Harrington it was her first win in the race having previously finished second and third.

The New One ran on brilliantly for third after being badly hampered by another fancied Irish runner Our Conor with six hurdles to jump.

Our Conor — who was bought for £1million after his Triumph Hurdle win at Cheltenham last year — suffered a bad back injury and had to be put down by the course vet.

Two-time champion Hurricane Fly was prominent until just before the final hurdle when Ruby Walsh went for the whip and the 10-year-old found the younger horses too quick for him.

Gavin Cooney
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The 11/4 favourite — winner in 2011 and 2013 — eventually finished fourth.

- © AFP, 2014

POLL: Who do you think will win today’s Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham?

Ruby Walsh starts with a bang but insists there’s a lot more to life than riding Cheltenham winners

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