Peter Casey remains confident Flemenstar can develop into a serious Cheltenham Gold Cup candidate despite a scintillating victory over the minimum trip on his seasonal reappearance at Navan.
Making his first start since winning the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse at the end of a brilliant novice campaign, the seven-year-old turned in an exhibition round of jumping to deny top two-miler Big Zeb a fourth successive win in the Fortria Chase.
Flemenstar has yet to be tested beyond two and a half miles and given his raw speed, it is hardly surprising some believe he could make his presence felt in either the Queen Mother Champion Chase or the Ryanair Chase at the Festival in March. Casey, however, only has eyes for the extended three-and-a-quarter-mile blue riband.
The trainer said: "Everything is grand this morning and we're very happy with him.
"He couldn't have done any more than he did yesterday. I see some people are still doubting him and whether he'll get three miles, but I don't think he'll have any trouble with the trip. He's a lovely, big horse and he idles a bit in front."
Casey confirmed he would step back up to two and a half miles for the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase on December 9, before testing the water over three miles in Leopardstown's Lexus Chase over Christmas.
"Anything can happen, obviously, but the plan is to go to Punchestown next and then on to Leopardstown for the Lexus," said the trainer.
"People are talking about the Champion Chase and the Ryanair and I suppose we could look that way if for some reason he doesn't get three miles at Christmas, but that is not the plan at the moment. I'm confident he'll get the trip."
Andrew Lynch has been ever-present in the saddle during Flemenstar's career over fences and he too is hopeful the hugely-promising gelding will stay at least three miles.
Lynch said: "He was very good for his first run. We knew going into the race that whatever he did he would improve, so hopefully that is the case. He jumped well and travelled well and did it easily. You'd like to think he'll get three miles. He certainly gives you that impression when you ride him and he has won a point-to-point. Whether he'd get three and a quarter miles up that Cheltenham hill is a different matter. Only time will tell."
24 May 2016Jim Best guilty verdict quashed and rehearing announced by appeal board
Found back in hunt for Coronation Cup at Epsom
Jonathan Portman celebrates Wolverhampton win with Ickymasho
Trials take place at Yarmouth ahead of return to racing action
Andrew Thornton happy to put in the miles as landmark looms
A Shin Hikari dazzles for Japan in Prix d'Ispahan at Chantilly
Found ruled out of Coronation Cup date
Godolphin set to add Goodwood winner Skiffle into Oaks mix
Max Dynamite tops Henry II field at Sandown for Willie Mullins
Time takes Brigadier Gerard Test at Sandown
Wings Of Desire delights John Gosden in Epsom workout
John O'Shea keeping Royal Ascot options open for Holler
Owen Burrows set sights on Royal Ascot with Muntazah
Kieren Fallon set for Sir Michael Stoute Derby reunion with Across The Stars
Michelle Payne ruled out of Royal Ascot following abdominal surgery
Royal Ascot could be next for The Tin Man following impressive Windsor victory
Classic ace Adrian Keatley keeps up the good work with Millefiori at Ayr
Ken Condon sets long-term sights on Champion Stakes targets with Success Days
Delight for Sir Mark Prescott as Time Warp strikes in France
Erica Bing set to go Trophy hunting for Jo Hughes at Beverley
Gifted Master stars in high-class entry for Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock
Massaat pointing to Epsom but French Derby remains an option
Clive Cox keeps faith in Royal Ascot-bound Kodi Bear
Joy of six appeals to Profitable and Clive Cox
Adrian Keatley ponders transatlantic adventure with Jet Setting
23 May 2016Chantilly rain pain for Andre Fabre and New Bay
Initial scans clear Michelle Payne of serious injury
Willie Mullins to make French Champion Hurdle call with Un De Sceaux
Waady and Muthmir in Royal Ascot hat for King's Stand Stakes
Melbourne Cup heroine Michelle Payne in hospital after fall
No Italian Derby joy for Dermot Weld as True Solitaire finishes last
Jet Setting grounds Minding on 'dream' day at Curragh for Adrian Keatley
Fascinating Rock too strong for Found in Curragh clash
Epsom Derby bid unlikely for The Gurkha, confirms Aidan O'Brien
Beacon Rock shines at Curragh for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore
Kevin Ryan switches attention to Royal Ascot with The Grey Gatsby and Ashadihan
'Bring it on' - Galileo Gold's trainer Hugo Palmer relishing Royal Ascot rematch
Irish Guineas winner Awtaad set to stay at a mile and head for Royal Ascot
Options open for Besharah after French Guineas fourth
22 May 2016Minding mastered by Jet Setting in Irish Guineas at Currragh
Van Der Decken delivers at Curragh
Plans fluid for progressive Fadillah
Minding seeking Classic double after late Guineas call-up
Exaggerator takes Preakness as Triple Crown dreams end for Nyquist
Kevin Prendergast rolls back the years as Awtaad bags fairytale Irish Guineas
Devonshire glee for Willie McCreery in Lanwades Stud Stakes
Royal Ascot set to be next stop for classy Caravaggio
Mobsta gangs up on Greenland rivals
Profitable day out at Haydock for Clive Cox and Adam Kirby
All-the-way Un De Sceaux bounces back in style at Auteuil
Curragh rain means Time Test a non-runner in Tattersalls Gold Cup
Big prizes on the horizon for Moonrise Landing after York success
Decorated Knight takes top honours at Goodwood
21 May 2016Famous Classic strike for Awtaad and Kevin Prendergast at the Curragh
Brave Anna sweeps to Curragh win
Aidan O'Brien's Caravaggio impresses in Marble Hill
Downforce sprints clear for Curragh success
Brave Anna sweeps to Curragh win
Ascot-bound Red Verdon far too good at Haydock
Pat Smullen hoping Flying Bullet can hit Gallinule target at the Curragh
Aidan O'Brien seeking Curragh gold with 'special' Found
Goldream bypasses Temple test with Ascot on the agenda
Master Carpenter drops in grade for Festival Stakes at Goodwood
Linguistic looks to take Fairway route to the Derby
Injured Sammy Jo Bell sidelined after Carlisle skirmish
Sir Michael Stoute rules injured Midterm out of Epsom Derby
Classic hope Algometer times it right at Goodwood for David Simcock
Martyn Meade keen on Irish Rookie claims at the Curragh
Mister Trader takes Marble Hill test for Darren Bunyan at the Curragh
Michael Dods on weather watch for Haydock-bound Mecca's Angel
Galileo Gold camp pursue more Guineas glory as Derby bid scrapped
Unbeaten Don't Touch targets Curragh prize for Richard Fahey
Minding makes surprise bid for Guineas double at the Curragh