Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 29 September 2016

Curran has grounds for concern over Flemenstar's Festival run

Keith Hamer

Published 02/02/2016 | 02:30

Flemenstar finished a good second in the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown on Sunday. Photo: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
Flemenstar finished a good second in the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown on Sunday. Photo: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE

Anthony Curran will make a plan for Flemenstar later in the week after his stable star finished a good second in the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown on Sunday.

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Successful in a Grade One at Leopardstown over Christmas, the son of Flemensfirth led from four out but was headed before the last by eventual winner Felix Yonger. The veteran kept on again on the run-in, going down by just a length and a quarter.

"He is fine after yesterday, he is in great nick," the trainer explained. "He ran his race and we have no complaints. He ran up to his form at Christmas.

"We will give it another week or so before we make any plans. Cheltenham would be very doubtful because of the ground, he has to have soft ground.

"There is a race at Navan after Easter, but we are not really sure, we will give it until the end of the week before we make any plans for him."

Risk Of Thunder, owned by actor Sean Connery and credited with stimulating interest in cross-country races in Ireland, has died at the age of 27.

He won the La Touche Cup at the Punchestown Festival a record seven times and spent his retirement at JP McManus' Martinstown Stud in County Limerick, where he was the companion of triple Champion Hurdle hero Istabraq.

The son of Strong Gale was trained for most of his career by Enda Bolger, who rode him to three of his La Touche victories.

"It's very sad news," said Bolger. "He was a terrific horse and his jumping was his forte. He got all the people excited to go and watch him jump in those banks races.

"He made those races popular, his jumping was so flamboyant and people started to warm to those races again. To win that race seven times in a row, the La Touche Cup, was an unbelievable achievement. He was also second in the Pardubicke.

"I rode him 14 times in all, including point-to-points, and he was a tremendous horse to have around.

"He spent his retirement at JP's and was the companion of Istabraq, so poor old Istabraq is suffering today at the loss of his buddy."

Irish Independent

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