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Last Updated: 09/12/12 8:20pm
Flemenstar: A brilliant winner of the John Durkan Memorial Chase
Flemenstar ran out an impressive winner from Sir Des Champs in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.
The absence of Bog Warrior left a field of three to go to post for the two and a half mile Grade One contest but it was a high-class field with the smart Rubi Light the outsider behind the two rising stars.
Flemenstar had won all six starts since finishing second on his chase debut and had two Gradfe One wins to his name while Sir Des Champs was unbeaten since joining Willie Mullins from France and had won twice at the Cheltenham Festival.
Andrew Lynch set out to make every yard aboard the even money favourite and the order had barely changed with less than a mile to run.
Davy Russell appeared to be asking Sir Des Champs for a little more effort with five still to jump and the six year old was hard ridden to join issue at the head of the straight.
Lynch, however, was relatively motionless aboard Peter Casey's stable star and the pair readily opened up a telling advantage on the run to the second last.
The Flemensfirth gelding was perfect at that obstacle - as he had been at all those before - and again at the last and crossed the line clear of the field to confirm his reputation as one of the brightest stars of the chasing game.
In the immediate aftermath, Casey raised the possibility of running in the Dial-A-Bet Chase over two miles and a furlong at Christmas, but that option was later ruled out as he is reportedly unlikely to be supplemented with owner Stephen Curran keen to try three miles next.
"I'm delighted with that, and he's still not ready!" said Casey.
"He'll go to Leopardstown at Christmas and will get three miles. I've never had any doubt about him getting three miles.
"The Gold Cup is still the plan long term."