• Horse Racing

Champion Chase the aim for Flemenstar

ESPN staff
December 29, 2012
Flemenstar's reputation was not dented in defeat in the Lexus Chase © PA Photos

Flemenstar will be dropped in trip and aimed at the Queen Mother Champion Chase following his defeat in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on Friday.

Peter Casey's charge had carried all before him over two and two and a half miles, but he came up short when stepped up to three miles in the Lexus. He travelled like the best horse in the race and was clear at the last, but the tank emptied on the run to the line.

"He won't get that extra two furlongs," Casey said of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. "You'd think he was going to win (the Lexus) coming to the last fence, he was cruising. He just found nothing after the last 100 yards.

"The Queen Mother, that will be it. The two-mile Champion Chase. That will be the one we'd go for."

Casey is not afraid of locking horns with Nicky Henderson's Sprinter Sacre in the Queen Mother.

"Our lad is a great jumper and has plenty of speed. He jumped well (on Friday) but every time he landed he was wanting to get going," Casey said.

"In Cheltenham, if we went for the Queen Mother, he'd have to go there, Andrew would be letting him stride on and we'd give that other lad (Sprinter Sacre) something to think about then! That's what we're going to try and do anyway."

Flemenstar could still get a second chance to prove himself at three miles in the Hennessy Gold Cup in Febuary.

Casey said: "The plan now is to go for the Hennessy. The owner wants to go there. That will be his next race, that's the plan."

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