Irish chaser Flemenstar will take in 2013/14 campaign with Tony Martin
During his time under the care of trainer Peter Casey, Flemenstar rose to a position of great prominence in Irish jumps racing, so much so that he was considered a leading hope for the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the beginning of the last campaign.
After handing Sir Des Champs – Ireland’s other leading steeplechaser of recent years – a five-length beating early last term it seemed he was destined for the firmament.
However, he subsequently failed to find enough at the business end of races at 3m and beyond and ended up swerving Cheltenham altogether, belatedly making his first visit to the British Isles at Aintree.
Illness had led Casey to steer him clear of a potential clash with the likes of Long Run and Bobs Worth at Prestbury Park, but he was still confronted with the might of Sprinter Sacre.
His trainer described him as ‘a long way below his best’ in the Melling Chase and he had a wind-operation in the aftermath of his defeat 24-length defeat.
He’s since been transferred to the yard of Tony Martin, whose charges are worth a check in the Cheltenham 2014 odds after the trainer claimed Festival victories in 2013 with Benefficient and Ted Veale.
With Flemenstar having accounted for the likes of Sir Des Champs, Bog Warrior and champion chaser Big Zeb on his way to seven wins from his first eight starts over fences there is clearly an excellent beast there for Martin to try and get to the bottom of.
After all, this is a gelding that, although some maintain he is a non-stayer, finished upsides of eventual Cheltenham Gold Cup second Sir Des Champs over 3m at Leopardstown.
As such it would be foolish to discount long Cheltenham 2014 odds about a victory in the Festival showpiece this year.