Flemenstar (IRE) showed earlier in the season that he had the potential to go to the top and he is heading rapidly in that direction judged on his performance in the Grade 1 Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Chase at Leopardstown. He was foot perfect all the way and when Andrew Lynch upped the tempo from the fourth last fence he proceeded to gallop further and further clear of his rivals passing the post nineteen lengths clear of Gift Of Dgab. It was a first Grade 1 victory for veteran trainer Peter Casey and he enjoyed every moment of it. Casey, ably assisted by his three sons Francis, Peter and Oliver is a colourful character and his post race quotes often require substantial editing before being printed and this occasion was certainly no different with the Dubliner saying: “We’re not going to Cheltenham with him this year but we might go for the Powers Gold Cup instead. It’s great that his owner Stephen Curran hung onto him or else I wouldn’t have him! He settled well and did everything right and is a lovely horse. I always thought the world of him and am delighted to have him”
Flemenstar was bred by Donal Barnwell and is by Flemensfirth out of Different Dee. He is a half brother to the useful Barafundle and is closely related to Carvill’s Hill, one of the best chasers of the last twenty years. Flemenstar was originally pin-hooked in Tattersalls Ireland by Michael Tallon who bought him as a foal for €11,000 before selling him to current owner Stephen Curran a year later for €40,000. Fair play to Stephen Curran who played a brave move last year when declining to sell the horse for €200,000 at Tattersalls Ireland’s Point to Point sale last May. He obviously had great belief in the former point to point winner who would not have to improve too much to develop into a genuine Gold Cup candidate next season. Curran has since refused several tempting offers to sell but it would be a huge boost to the Casey family if they can keep the horse as they have proved over the years that they are more than capable of preparing a horse for the big occasion.