Flemenstar And Sir Des Champs Meet In John Durkan

Two of Ireland's most exciting chasers will meet at Punchestown on Sunday in what is set to be a fascinating renewal of the John Durkan Memorial Chase, as Peter Casey's Flemenstar and Willie Mullins's Sir Des Champs do battle in the Grade One contest.

The former has been a revelation since making the transition to fences and has progressived immeasurably, as his impressive victory over Big Zeb in the Fortria Chase showed last time out.  Now he will look to put his marker down as a genuine Cheltenham Gold Cup hope, but in Sir Des Champs will face his stiffest task to date.

A dual Cheltenham Festival winner, the Co. Carlow inmate was superb when storming to victory in the Jewson Novices' Chase and Mullins has always held his emerging star in high regard and feels he could be one of the brightest young chasers to have been in his grasp.

Mullins will be slightly apprehensive about Sunday's contest as he has already documented that he feels Sir Des Champs will benefit a longer trip, so he may find the 2m 4f a bit on the sharp side, but Flemenstar has proven Grade One-winning form over shorter distances, so that is why the bookmakers are siding with the Casey-trained star in which four runners go to post.

Rubi Light won the race 12 months ago and will be looking to emulate last year's heroics, but this is a lot stronger renewal, whilst Bog Warrior will need to produce a career best in what is yet another fascinating duel to take place over a mouthwatering weekend's racing in the UK & Ireland.

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