Flemen owner feels Star was under par

Sun 10th Feb 2013, 13:26

©Healy Racing Photos
Flemenstar's owner Stephen Curran is adamant his horse did not show his true colours in his defeat to Sir Des Champs at Leopardstown on Saturday.

Debate has raged for weeks about the best distance for the charismatic Peter Casey-trained chaser, who has looked so smart at up to two and a half miles, and connections were keen to give him another chance at three miles after his third-placed finish in the Lexus Chase over Christmas.

Flemenstar was held up by Andrew Lynch and eventually beaten by a length and three-quarters in the Hennessy Gold Cup, but Curran wants to see if something was wrong with the gelding before important decisions are made.

"He seems OK today, but I would say he underperformed," said Curran.

"He wasn't himself. Andrew said he had to push him into the jumps, which he never has had to before.

"He didn't carry Andrew at all and we cannot put a finger on it, there was no life in him. He didn't sparkle. We'll have him tested over the next few days and maybe we will find he had got an infection, or there was something amiss."

Flemenstar has entries in all three of the feature chases - the Gold Cup, Ryanair and Queen Mother Champion - and Curran insists nothing is set in stone.

He said: "I'm not sure, we will just see how he is over the next few days. We are good losers and I don't want to take anything away from the winner. In all fairness, he's a very, very good horse and I'm pleased for the O'Learys (Sir Des Champs' owner Gigginstown House Stud)."

Down Royal off on Tuesday

The rescheduled Down Royal meeting on Tuesday, February 12th, has been cancelled.