Nolan left devastated after Defy Logic suffers fatal injury
Wexford trainer Paul Nolan has been dealt a severe blow after stable star Defy Logic was fatally injured on the gallops.
The Grade One-winning novice chaser missed last season with injury yet was closing in on a return to action this autumn.
"He was doing a routine warm-up when he was fatally injured. It is a massive blow to the stable," said Nolan.
"We were delighted to have him back in training, having missed all of last season, and to have him so close to a return to the track is sickening.
"I've spoken to Frank (Berry, owner JP McManus' racing manager), and everyone connected with the horse is devastated.
"But that is horse racing and we just have to be thankful for the great days that the horse gave us."
Flemenstar will aim to secure his second John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase early next month following his encouraging reappearance at Navan on Sunday.
It is almost three years since the 10-year-old ran out a brilliant all-the-way winner of the two-and-a-half-mile Grade One and he has suffered his fair share of injury problems since.
However, there was a lot to like about his performance in finishing third in Sunday's Fortria Chase, his first run since being trained by owner Stephen Curran's son, Anthony, and connections are expecting him to improve plenty.
Curran Snr said: "He was back to his old self and jumped well. He just got tired and needed the run badly.
"He had a serious injury, we've just had to be patient with him, but it will pay off in the long run.
"He's not doing anything different to what he's always done. The John Durkan is the next step, all being well, and we'll go from there."
The John Durkan is also the next objective for Carlingford Lough following his Navan return.
Trainer John Kiely decided to bring his stable star back over the smaller obstacles in the Lismullen Hurdle but he was ultimately well beaten as last season's Champion Hurdle runner-up Arctic Fire claimed victory for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh.
The County Waterford-based handler expects Carlingford Lough to up his game. "It was a nice race to start him back in, but they went very slow early on and then sprinted which didn't suit him," said Kiely. "He'll go for the John Durkan next."
At Carlisle yesterday, Clare trainer Ronnie O'Leary landed a gamble when his debutant Threeways (5/2 to 7/4) captured the closing bumper by two lengths in the hands of Dougie Costello.