- Horse Racing
Majestic Flemenstar thrashes Big Zeb
Flemenstar signalled a changing of the guard in the Irish chasing scene with a breathtaking display in the Fortria Chase at Navan.
Former Champion Chaser Big Zeb was in the field bidding for a fourth win in the Fortria, but he was made to look pedestrian by Peter Casey's second-season chaser.
Flemenstar was sent off a longer price than many envisaged, 10/11f, with it felt me might be vulnerable on his seasonal bow, but there were no worries for favourite backers as he made every yard of the running for a facile success.
Andrew Lynch jumped Flemenstar out from flagfall and he got into a superb rhythm. He upped the pace turning into the back straight and it put his rivals under pressure. Realt Dubh blundered away his chance with a stopping mistake down the back straight.
Turning for home, Foildubh and Big Zeb attempted to closed but Lynch had masses in the tank. A brilliant leap two from home ended the challenge of his rivals and he measured the last with aplomb before sauntering home for victory in the Grade Two heat.
Whatuthink caused a huge shock when lowering the colours of Voler La Vedette in the Lismullen Hurdle.
Having bustled up Big Buck's and Quevega at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals last season, Voler La Vedette was sent off at odds of 1/7f to make a winning seasonal debut - as she did in the same race last term.
She was anchored towards the rear of the field early on and her hurdling was far from fluent, but she breezed into contention turning out of the back straight and looked set to pick up the front running Whatuthink at her leisure. But Whatuthink was on a going day and he kept finding for pressure.
Having conceded so much ground early on, Voler La Vedette could not make the final few lengths required over the final two flights and was beaten into second.