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Flemenstar switches on power

Flemenstar destroyed the opposition with a superb performance in the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse to throw his hat into the ring for next year's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Peter Casey's brilliant chaser (11-10 favourite) jumped superbly as he travelled in second for most of the way, with Rathlin setting the pace in the Grade One contest, and Andrew Lynch sent him to the front on the turn for home.

The seven-year-old, racing on the fastest ground he has encountered this season, injected a devastating burst of pace going to the second-last and soon had his rivals toiling, before being eased on the run-in to win by 11 lengths. He is now as low as 8-1 for the blue riband with Ladbrokes.

Casey said: "I can't believe it. I can't believe he's that good, I'm delighted with him. I want to thank the sponsors and also the people who look after the track here, they've done a great job.

"They said he wanted soft ground, but we thought it made no difference, he went on good ground here last year over hurdles. My son has been over to keep an eye on the ground two or three times this week and we were happy.

"He's won so much now and is so valuable you don't want anything to happen. He's been nearly sold two or three times, but I'm delighted he wasn't.

"My son said to me he destroyed them, and he did. He won't go to Punchestown. We entered him last week in case anything happened here. We'll look to Cheltenham next year."

Lynch added: "He has plenty of gas and does everything so easy. He has got gears, but probably wouldn't want the ground any quicker."

Casey confirmed that Cheltenham will be on his agenda next March, having skipped the meeting this season, and with Sir Des Champs currently heading the Gold Cup betting, Stan James make it a 5-2 chance that next year's winner comes from Ireland

War Of Attrition in 2006 was the last Irish-trained horse to win the blue riband event.

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