Coy Casey banking on Flemenstar

Trainer Peter Casey is keeping race tactics close to his chest ahead of Flemenstar’s crucial test in today’s Hennessey Gold Cup at Leopardstown.

Coy Casey banking on Flemenstar

Given the eight-year-old was beaten less than a length in the Lexus – his first try over three miles – connections are keen on a second crack at the distance to confirm whether or not he is a realistic Cheltenham Gold Cup contender.

There has been much debate about whether Flemenstar should be ridden less forcefully this time, but Casey is not giving anything away.

“He’s in great shape, there’s not a bother on him and we can’t do any more with him now,” said the County Meath handler.

“Whether he stays or whether he’s good enough, only time will tell, but everything is right with the horse.

“There are only five runners and we’ve sat down and had the meeting about tactics, but I can’t tell you what they are – you’ll have to wait and see.

Flemenstar takes top billing in the five-runner field, with his biggest threat seemingly the Willie Mullins-trained Sir Des Champs, a fast-finishing fourth in the Lexus following an indifferent round of jumping.

Mullins said: “Sir Des Champs ran a good race the last day in the Lexus and he seems to have come out of that in good form. We are hoping he can improve on that.”

Champion jockey Davy Russell feels Sir Des Champs has improved since the Lexus. “He’s progressing as we go along and he’s improved again at home. He’ll need to, and, according to the handicapper, he has to find 5lb on his handicap mark with Flemenstar.”

Picture: Healy Racing

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