Boylepsorts has installed Flemenstar as the 6/4 favourite to win back to back John Durkan Chases at Punchestown on Sunday.
Last year’s runner up and 2013 Gold Cup second, Sir Des Champs is on offer at 9/4 to reverse the form with Flemenstar.
Sir Des Champs may also be joined by stable mate Arvika Ligeonniere who was last seen landing the Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase and the eight year old is currently priced at 9/4.
Toner Doudairies who finished second to Arvika Ligeonniere last time out is priced at 16/1 alongside the Noel Meade trained Texas Jack and Jessica Harrington’s Oscars Well.
Looking forward to the race Flemenstar’s trainer Tony Martin said “At this stage the intention is that he will run at Punchestown on Sunday. I’ve been happy with him since Navan and We will give him some work in the morning and take it from there. Of course it would be great if the result was the same as last year but it is a very good race. He could finish third in it and still have run a cracker!”
Champion trainer Willie Mullins is very happy with his Gold Cup hopeful but has some reservations about the trip “We are very pleased with him and he will run in the Durkan chaseon Sunday. I would imagine that the two and a half mile trip is probably a little sharp for him but it is an ideal start over a lovely track with nice fences”. Speaking of his future campaign Mullins continued “We hope to maintain Sir Des Champs form from last year and if we tweak a few things he will be very competitive come March”.
Also among the remaining entries is 2011 winner Rubi Light, Star Best For Racing Coverage Chase winner Toner D’Oudairies and Arvika Ligeonnaire winner of the Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase at the Punchestown Festival.
The Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Chase boasts an extremely impressive roll of honour with Carvills’ Hill, Dorans Pride, Imperial Call, Kicking King, Beef or Salmon and Florida Pearl among previous winners. It is commonly regarded as an excellent Gold Cup indicator.
Liam Glynn, PR Executive at Boylesports said “Flemenstar made an excellent start to the season by landing the Boylesports Fortria Chase at Navan and currently heads the betting at 6/4 to win back to back John Durkan Chases.”
He added “Sir Des Champs is also likely to prove popular in the betting and we have also kept his stable mate Arvika Ligeonniere on our side as he caught our eye when landing the Clonmel Oil Chase last time out.”