Two black-type wins head bonanza day for Flemensfirth
Flemensfirth sired four winners at Punchestown on Saturday headed by the G3-winning novice chaser Invitation Only (7g Flemensfirth-Norabelle, by Alamo Bay) and was also responsible for a high-class black-type winner at Kempton.
The Willie Mullins-trained Invitation Only has now won both his completed starts over fences after holding off stablemate Koshari (6g Walk In The Park-Honor May, by Balleroy) to take the G3 Total Event Rental Novice Chase.
Invitation Only, bred by Seamus McKeogh, is now just 6/1 for the G1 JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and winning rider David Mullins commented: “He's got buckets of scope and he's a real galloping jumper. I was very impressed with him. He quickened up off the bend and did everything right.
“I thought there was plenty left at the line and he's one to look forward to. We went a good gallop and he has a lot of ability jumping-wise, he has buckets of scope but he's well able to pop and is good and clever. He's got it all really and he got better as he went on."
Other winners at Punchestown included Mullins’ newcomer Relegate (5m Flemensfirth-Last Of The Bunch, by Silver Patriarch) in the concluding bumper.
Meanwhile, outstanding young chaser Waiting Patiently (7g Flemensfirth-Rossavon, by Beneficial) won his third black-type event of the season when scoring at Kempton. The Flemensfirth gelding took on some more experienced rivals in the Listed 32Red Casino Chase but still prevailed by eight lengths under Brian Hughes.
Malcolm Jefferson’s charge beat the top-class Politologue in a G2 novice chase last season and he holds entries in the G1 Champion Chase and G1 Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The G1 Betfair Chase at Ascot is a likely next stop if the ground is suitable.
"There's not a lot of races about for him and we will have to look at the next step up and if the ground is good to soft or soft we will give the Betfair Chase a go,” said Jefferson’s daughter Ruth.
“He has done really well on soft ground and he has looked really well on soft/heavy ground. He has had to run on something a bit quicker today and prove he was as good. I like the way he quickened between the second-last and the last and galloped to the line.
"The weather Gods are out of my control so we will keep him in at Cheltenham, as it can be good ground and rain. We will keep him in it until the last minute.”
Waiting Patiently, who has won all five of his starts over fences, was bred by Vincent Finn.