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Champion Hurdler Jezki fancied to round off our big Christmas treble

| 23.12.2014

With a whopping 12 race meetings from around the UK and Ireland on Boxing Day alone, it would be easy to assume that racing over the festive period was about quantity rather than quality.

Think again. In fact, between Christmas and New Year, was have a huge 21 Graded races from these shores, with 11 of those Grade 1s.

So with some of the best in the business strutting their stuff in the next week, we thought we’d pick out a Grade 1 treble that could allow you to start 2015 with a few extra pound coins in your wallet.

Here are our three selections that make up this near-23/1 beaut…

Silviniaco Conti to win the King George @ 9/4

Last year’s winner has done little wrong since, fading when the extended 3m2f at Cheltenham appeared to stretch him in the Gold Cup, before bouncing back with a win at Aintree.

He badly needing the run on his seasonal reappearance, but firmly put his peers in their place in the Betfair Chase.

He is bang in form according to Paul Nicholls (a trainer who excels in this race), and with the others all having questions to answer is hard to oppose as he seeks to become the 10thback-to-back winner of the contest.

Ballycasey to win the Dial A Bet Chase @ 5/2

Currently joint favourite with Uxizandre for this 2m1f contest at Leopardstown on Saturday, we are picking the home challenger over Alan King’s raider.

Willie Mullins’ grey looks set for a campaign at the shorter distances after finding it tough over 3m at the highest level.

He is two from two at the track and four from five in races over 2m4f or shorter (that defeat when falling when well clear), so conditions looks sure to suit.

Jezki to win the Ryanair Hurdle @ 11/10

On paper this looks a straight shoot-out (again) between Jezki and the grand old champion Hurricane Fly.

The Fly may have got in front last time at Punchestown, but the combination of a bigger price, age perhaps coming into play (he is 10, Jezki is 6), and Jessica Harrington’s glowing reports about her stable star, we are taking the younger horse to round off the treble.

The current Champion Hurdler has finished behind Hurricane Fly on three of the five occasions they have gone hoof to hoof in the past, but a look at conditions those times tells a story.

Jezki has only lost to his elder statesman when the ground has been soft or heavy, so with the ground drying out and a calm spell predicted, we fancy the youngster to level the scores.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.