Saturday 24 February 2018

Un De Sceaux falls as Flemenstar denies Simply Ned at Leopardstown

Flemenstar takes the last before catching Simply Ned at Leopardstown
Flemenstar takes the last before catching Simply Ned at Leopardstown

Un De Sceaux's dramatic exit two fences from the finish allowed Flemenstar to return to winning ways in the Paddy Power "So Quick, So Easy iPhone App" Chase at Leopardstown.

Willie Mullins' Arkle hero Un De Sceaux was all the rage having won each of his four starts over fences since falling on his chasing debut at Thurles and the front-running 1-4 favourite was still in command when hitting the second-last hard and coming to grief. Both the horse and Ruby Walsh were quickly on their feet.

That left Flemenstar and British raider Simply Ned clear of the remainder and the latter looked likely to prevail when kicking clear from the home turn. However, the Nicky Richards-trained eight-year-old began to tread water after the final fence and Andrew Lynch galvanised Flemenstar to get up and score by a length.

Now trained by owner Stephen Curran's son, Anthony, i t was 16-1 shot Flemenstar's first victory in over two years and his first at Grade One level since his brilliant display in the 2012 John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.

The winning trainer said: "He was off for a year and did nothing but walking and trotting. It was a long road back and Danny Hand rides him out every day. I feel sorry for Keith Donoghue who would have ridden him but injured his eye recently.

"With Un De Sceaux in the race I knew they would go a good gallop and that suits him.

"I thought we might be held going to the last, but I saw the other horse getting tired and I knew our fella was as fit as he was for a long time. He's all heart.

"I only took out the licence in the summer and that's my first winner. I've three riding out at the moment.

"He could run next at Punchestown at the end of January, but he's very ground dependent. It will have to be soft wherever he runs."

Walsh said of Un De Sceaux: "I thought he was spot on to jump it and asked him to do so, but he took another stride and caught it halfway up.

"Thankfully he got up and there'll be another day. It's always disappointing to fall, and it's very disappointing to leave a Grade One behind, but I'd prefer to fall at the second-last here than the second-last in a Champion Chase."

Mullins said: "I presume Un De Sceaux is OK, as I haven't heard any bad news from my staff. He just ran too fresh, and he only jumped the first and the first ditch well."

Press Association

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