Flemen stars in G2 on comeback

A potentially hugely-exciting season for Flemenstar (7g Flemensfirth-Different Dee, by Beau Sher) began on a bright note at Navan on Sunday when he easily won the G2 Fortria Chase on his comeback. The son of Flemensfirth saw off six-time G1 winner Big Zeb (11g Oscar-Our Siveen, by Deep Run) to take the two-mile contest by seven lengths and he looks set to excel in the very best company this season. Flemenstar, who has now won seven of his 10 starts, scored twice in Grade 1 company last season and bookmakers reacted to this latest victory by installing him as one of the market leaders for both the 2m 5f G1 Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham as well as the Gold Gup. “When he is fit he’ll be a good one! He will go for the G1 John Durkan Chase now at Punchestown,” said trainer Peter Casey. “He has got stronger since last year but he was only 80% fit today. He got beat here the last two years but I slept well last night, I wasn’t worried about him. Andrew (Lynch) knows him well. There is no use in telling him what to do. After he goes over two and a half in the Durkan we will think about running him over three miles. He should get three miles on breeding.” Flemenstar was bred by Pat and Donal Barnwell and was bought by his owner Stephen Curran for 40,000 euros as a yearling at Tattersalls Ireland.