Flemenstar ready for big test
Peter Casey believes conditions should come right for Flemenstar as he goes for glory in the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Sunday.
Since chasing home the high-class Bog Warrior on his chasing introduction, Flemenstar has won twice without being seriously troubled, earning himself this step up in grade.
With rain forecast, County Meath-based Casey anticipates the ground being in his pride and joy's favour.
The trainer said: "It's a big day and the horse couldn't be better. I haven't studied the race much, but I think we've got a great chance.
"It was yielding to soft ground on Thursday and we've had a drying day, but I think there is more rain coming on Saturday evening, which will suit him. We don't want the ground too soft, but he likes a bit of ease, so hopefully it will be grand.
"I don't know, maybe we're thinking too much of him, but we think he's a good one anyway. We'll know how good he is after Sunday."
His main rival appears to be the Willie Mullins-trained Blackstairmountain, one of the leading lights for the Racing Post Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham in March.
The champion trainer said: "He's done everything right so far over fences and won over course and distance at Christmas. The ground might be a bit wetter than it was last time, which wouldn't necessarily be in our favour. All going well, the plan would be to run in the Arkle at Cheltenham."
David Pipe's Notus De La Tour makes the journey from England, while Tony Martin is represented by Gift Of Dgab. Baily Green, Foildubh and Lucky William complete the seven-runner field.