Flemenstar is set to have the Queen Mother Champion Chase as his Cheltenham Festival target following his reverse in the Lexus Chase.
After putting previously unbeaten chaser Sir Des Champs to the sword with a brilliant display in the two-and-a-half-mile John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase, Flemenstar was a hot favourite for the feature event of Leopardstown's Christmas meeting, but still had to prove his stamina over three miles.
Having travelled and jumped with panache under Andrew Lynch, the seven-year-old appeared a weary horse after jumping the last and although he stuck to his task well enough to finish third, beaten just three-quarters of a length by Tidal Bay, trainer Peter Casey feels his stamina limitations were exposed.
Casey does not feel it would be right to test his charge over an extended three and a quarter miles at Cheltenham in March and with the two-mile-five-furlong Ryanair Chase seemingly of no appeal, he is set to tackle the formidable Sprinter Sacre over the minimum trip instead.
Asked about whether the Gold Cup was still being considered, Casey said: "We'll have to rule that out. He won't get that extra two furlongs. You'd think he was going to win coming to the last fence, he was cruising. He just found nothing after the last 100 yards.
"The Queen Mother, that will be it. The two-mile Champion Chase. That will be the one we'd go for."
Casey is confident that Flemenstar is capable of shaking up the current Champion Chase favourite Sprinter Sacre.
"Our lad is a great jumper and has plenty of speed. He jumped well (on Friday) but every time he landed he was wanting to get going," said the trainer.
"In Cheltenham, if we went for the Queen Mother, he'd have to go there, Andrew would be letting him stride on and we'd give that other lad (Sprinter Sacre) something to think about then! That's what we're going to try and do anyway."
Casey will consult Flemenstar's owner before deciding on a next port of call, but is leaning away from another crack at three miles in the Hennessy Gold Cup back at Leopardstown in February.
2 August 2015Longford edges Galway thriller
Impact too strong at Chester
Fitz foiled on comeback
Baraweez in Galway repeat
McCullagh 'on the mend'
Amazing summer continues for Maria
Dream week continues for Martin
Intilaaq camp on weather watch
Basem to step up in grade
Panama has American dream
Cyclone could stick to hurdling
Now Or Never excites O'Callaghan
Mini-break good for Horn - Gosden
Hobbs considered for Newbury trial
Ervedya tackles Rothschild test
Mullins dominates Galway feature
Harty looking forward to a good Day
'Overwhelmed' Hughes bows out
Legatissimo stamps class on Nassau
Magical Dettori top gun at Goodwood
Dart hits Goodwood bullseye
Fantastic Frankie takes right Steps
Latharnach could drop back in trip
McNamara eager for training career
1 August 2015Rebel returns at Galway
No fairytale ending for Hughes
Stewards' glory for Magical Dettori
Legatissimo proves Nassau queen
Times targets Stewards' consolation
Hughes reflects on a golden career
Warrior books Ebor ticket
Muthmir makes amends
Hughes at his best on Bay
Mile proves golden for Beloved
Malabar stamps her class
Dettori guides Dubday to landmark
Charlton so Close to historic win
Diamonds ready to sparkle in Nassau
31 July 2015Pacy Muthmir rules in King George
Breizh bids for Galway glory
Pharoah Phan Phestival good to go
Jack's the lad in Galway Hurdle
Gosden salutes 'magical' Sir Peter
Laviniad gets up late in Corrib
Simple for Beckett and Bentley
Orange pips Goodwood rivals
Shalaa dazzles in Richmond
Relief for Hughes as Gibeon strikes
Cover up for Goodwood defence
30 July 2015Clown gets serious at Galway
Eddery aiming for Mile high
Fox finale for Hughes
Ivory unveils strong Stewards' team
Treacy sent for scans
Stars on show in Nassau
Lynam 'proud' of Sir Peter alliance
Tributes pour in for O'Sullevan
It's Shanahan's turn at Galway
Sir Peter O'Sullevan dies, aged 97
Kachy not for catching in Molecomb
No Sussex regrets for O'Brien
Solow flying high at Goodwood
Highland reels in Gordon rivals
Shalaa in top trim for Richmond
Dunlop excited by Trip to Goodwood