Dual Grade One winner Last Instalment set to resume training

Trainer Philip Fenton is looking forward to welcoming Last Instalment back into training on Saturday after the exciting gelding recovered from injury.

The seven-year-old is unbeaten in four starts over fences, winning Grade One prizes at Leopardstown last December and in February.

But after jarring tendons during his last victory in the Dr PJ Moriarty Chase, he was forced to miss the Cheltenham Festival and the remainder of the season.

“He’s already done a lot of road-work and the plan is for him to come back to me on September 1 and start cantering,” said Fenton.

“Let’s hope the problem he had in the spring is behind him and hopefully, if all goes well, he’ll be back on the track around Christmas time.”

Fenton also had news of high-class hurdler Dunguib, who has been sidelined with injury since last March.

The nine-year-old will be an exciting addition to the novice chasing scene in Ireland.

“Dunguib is in good form and I’m very happy with him at this stage,” said the County Tipperary handler.

“He’s obviously been off a long time but he’s pleasing me at home.

“The plan would be for him to go straight over fences, but we’ll see how he gets on when he starts schooling.”

Exciting chaser Flemenstar is also set to return to training next week as trainer Peter Casey plots a route towards the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The seven-year-old enjoyed a fantastic novice campaign over fences, building on a promising debut second to Bog Warrior at Navan with five consecutive victories, including two at Grade One level.

He rounded off his campaign in style in the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse and although plans for the autumn are fluid, Casey is eyeing the blue riband event at Prestbury Park as his major target.

“He’s going to come back into training next week, but the owner has been doing a bit of work with him at home and tells me he’s in great form,” said Casey.

“We don’t know where we’re going to start him off yet. There is a Flat race in Navan and a chase in Navan, there are races at Punchestown and in the north (Down Royal) as well, so we have options for him.

“After that we’ll probably take him to England for something, bring home again and then go back for the big one.

“We hope he’s a Gold Cup horse, but we’ll see how we get on with him.”

Although Flemenstar was the subject of plenty of interest last season, Casey is confident his stable star will not be sold.

“I don’t think the owner would sell him now. He had offers last season and didn’t take them, so hopefully he’ll be staying with us,” said Casey.

Meanwhile First Cornerstone is likely to be supplemented for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf after his win in the Futurity Stakes at the Curragh.

The Andrew Oliver-trained colt was purchased last week by American syndicate Team Valor and served an immediate dividend with Group Two success, beating Aidan O’Brien’s Flying The Flag by a length and a half.

The Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh or the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Grand Criterium) at Longchamp could be the next step before Santa Anita in November.

Team Valor president Barry Irwin was on hand to lead the Hurricane Run youngster back to the winner’s enclosure.

Team Valor tweeted: “Barry Irwin said TVI will probably run First Cornerstone once more and pay the 100,000 to nominate him for the BC Juvenile Turf.

“Not clear yet whether the prep will be in the G1 National S. in Ireland, the G1 Grand Criterium on Arc day, or in the U.S.”

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox