- Horse Racing
Flemenstar underlines quality at Punchestown
Flemenstar emerged victorious over Sir Des Champs in a high quality head-to-head contest in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase on Sunday.
With Rubi Light - last year's winner in the race - considered the outsider against the two highly-regarded horses in the three-horse field at Punchestown, favourite Flemenstar proved his quality in the two-and-a-half mile Grade One race to claim a seventh successive victory
Sir Des Champs had his own winning streak to protect - having won twice in recent times at Cheltenham - but could not keep with the pace set by Flemenstar, who was ridden strongly by jockey Andrew Linch.
Davy Russell, guiding Sir Des Champs, attempted to bring the six-year-old to the front with five fences remaining but was unable to overcome the rival, as Flemenstar eased ahead coming to the last, before jumping it perfectly to romp to victory.
"He's done it well, it wasn't ideal being in front the whole way but neither of the other two wanted to make it and it was better to go on," Lynch said afterwards. "I thought Barry might try and make it on Rubi Light but they left it to me and he won well.
"He wasn't stopping at the line."