Hennessy aim for Flemenstar
(Healy Racing Photos)
Trainer Peter Casey suggested on Saturday morning his stable star would be targeted at the two-mile Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival after seemingly failing to get home over the longer trip when a close third behind Tidal Bay in Friday's Lexus Chase.
However, after subsequently speaking with the seven-year-old's owner, Stephen Curran, Casey has now confirmed his pride and joy is likely to test his stamina again in the Hennessy on February 9.
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.
"You'd think he was going to win coming to the last fence (in the Lexus), he was cruising. He just found nothing after the last 100 yards."
While victory in the Hennessy may prompt a rethink in plans, Casey had initially indicated that a face-off with the formidable Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase was preferable to a tilt at the extended three-and-a-quarter-mile Cheltenham Gold Cup with the two-mile-five-furlong Ryanair Chase seemingly offering little appeal.
"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," said the trainer.
"In Cheltenham, if we went for the Queen Mother, we would be letting him stride on and we'd give that other lad (Sprinter Sacre) something to think about then!"
Sky Bet have introduced Flemenstar into the market for the Champion Chase as the clear 7/2 second favourite behind Sprinter Sacre.
The even money favourite Mazuri Cowboy sent punters home happy at Limerick as he took the Family Fun Beginners Chase for trainer Eoin Doyle.