Flemenstar now in the care of owner’s son

Flemenstar will try to win thetote.com Fortria Chase at Navan on Sunday with a new trainer in Anthony Curran.
Flemenstar now in the care of owner’s son

Formerly trained by Peter Casey and, until recently, Tony Martin, the 10-year-old is now in the care of owner Stephen Curran’s son, Anthony.

Winner of the race in 2012 and 2013, Flemenstar has continually been plagued with leg trouble.

He did, though, manage to get back on the track twice in the spring, but cut no ice in the Webster Cup Chase at Navan or in the Boylesports Champion Chase at Punchestown.

“We hope to run him. He’s good but we’re just hoping for a drop of rain,” said Stephen Curran.

“It’s his first run back, so it’s fingers crossed.

“If he (Anthony) can get him back into the winners’ enclosure it would be a proud day.”

Last year’s winner Twinlight is one of two possibles from Willie Mullins’ stable along with Champagne Fever.

Henry de Bromhead is responsible for three of the 12 entries – Special Tiara, Days Hotel and Home Farm – for the Grade Two contest over two miles.

Gordon Elliott also has three in Azorian, Bright New Dawn and Mail De Bievre.

The Ted Walsh-trained Foxrock, Shark Hanlon’s Hidden Cyclone and Texas Jack, from Noel Meade’s stable, complete the dozen.

  • Vibrato Valtat survived a blunder at the final fence to run out an impressive winner of the Sportingbet Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.

Last year’s Arkle fourth travelled powerfully throughout under Sam Twiston-Davies, but there were still four horses in with a realistic chance on entering the home straight.

Dunraven Storm, last year’s winner God’s Own, former champion chaser Sire De Grugy and the eventual winner all jumped the fourth-last in a line.

Sire De Grugy and Vibrato Valtat soon pulled clear, but Gary Moore’s stable star blew up at the second-last, leaving the grey with a clear advantage.

Paul Nicholls’ charge fluffed the last but the 5-2 favourite won by an eased-down four lengths from the staying-on Third Intention.

Champion trainer Nicholls was understandably delighted with the display.

“The faster they go, the better for him as he loves coming off a fast pace,” said the Ditcheat handler.

“The idea was to get a lead as long as we could as he doesn’t want to be in front too soon but he just cruised to the front two out.

“He missed the last but galloped on nicely.

“He could go to Cheltenham in a week and a bit (Shloer Chase) but I would love to run him in the Tingle Creek.

“He loves Sandown and won the Henry VIII and it might be the right thing to do.”

Twiston-Davies said: “It’s a great starting point for his season, Paul had this lined up at the back end of last season. Bar the last, he’s done everything right.

“He’s a horse you like to have a target on so when Dicky (Richard Johnson on Dunraven Storm) was in front it was ideal, but when he was left in front for so long that might have contributed to his mistake.

“Paul was saying if he ended up at Sandown (Tingle Creek) it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.”

Sire De Grugy’s jockey Jamie Moore said: ‘‘I’m disappointed but I don’t think he is as good as he was. It is as simple as that.

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