Fabulous Flemenstar wins John Durkan Memorial
Updated: Sunday, 09 Dec 2012 15:03
Flemenstar's reputation went up another notch with a scintillating performance in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown.
Jockey Andrew Lynch set out to make every post a winning one and the tactics worked a treat as Peter Casey's seven-year-old jumped for fun at the head of affairs.
Sir Des Champs, unbeaten since joining Willie Mullins, including two wins at the Cheltenham Festival, was ridden from some way out by Davy Russell but had no answer to Flemenstar's pace rounding the turn for home.
Last year's winner Rubi Light was well beaten back in third.
Effervescent trainer Casey had stated before the race that his performance in this contest would dictate his future plan.
Racing over two and a half miles against a genuine Gold Cup contender, he certainly was not stopping on crossing the line.
Yet again his jumping was foot-perfect as the even-money favourite took lengths out of Sir Des Champs down the back straight.
Lynch said: "He was good, he did it well.
"It wasn't ideal making it but none of the other two wanted to go on. I just thought he'd be better off being in front than hacking in behind.
"With Bog Warrior not running I thought Rubi Light might have gone on as he's just a big galloper but I didn't mind making it.
"He didn't seem to be stopping at the finish so hopefully we'll find out more over Christmas (over three miles)."
Willie Mullins, trainer of runner-up Sir Des Champs, said: "I'd rather have won but Flemenstar took the race by the scruff of the neck. It was a good performance and he deserved it.
"My fellow ran a good solid race, and there is a lot to look forward to. He will probably run at Christmas and I will have to chat to the owners.
"We don't have anything to complain about, I don't think. We were staying on well at the finish, he jumped well enough and it was his first run of the season.
"It's harder when you are going around the outside and there's nothing to keep you racing.
"Sir Des Champs' natural way of running is very quiet so I think we'll take a fair bit out of it, there's lots of big races to be aimed at between now and the end of the season.
"I don't think three miles will be a problem, he galloped all the way to the line.
"He's entered in the Lexus, King George and the Dial-A-Bet. He could run in the two-mile race to get further experience, but we will have to see how he comes out of this and discuss it."