Flemenstar The Leading Light In Ascot Chase
Flemenstar is the sole Irish raider on the Ascot card as he lines up in the Grade One Ascot Chase tomorrow and the four-time Grade One winner might be about to add another top level success to his impressive portfolio.
Question Marks A Plenty
Silviniaco Conti (11/4) will have plenty of supporters as people will be keen to forgive his run in the King George last time out and on his best form he would undoubtedly warrant the title of favouritism but he has failed to win since beating Ballynagour by just a head at Aintree’s Grand National meeting last season and he is a horse who does carry a few question marks.
Indeed there could be questions about many of the eight runner-field as Dynaste (7/2) is second favourite and he was last seen over hurdles finishing last of eight runners over 100-lengths behind Thistlecrack.
There are negatives to put forward for Flemenstar (8/1) as well and travelling over to Ascot is one of those as that was often a concern of connections in the past, but at 11 now the hope is that he has matured to take the trip over in his stride and a look of his last two runs would give you more confidence than the last two runs of most this field.
Solid Recent Form
Flemenstar was a fortuitous winner of his most recent Grade One when Un De Sceaux crashed out at Leopardstown over Christmas and he stayed on to collar Simply Ned close home. Had Un De Sceaux not have fallen, Flemenstar would have been a long way back but many of this field would have found themselves in a similar position behind Un De Sceaux and what was most likeable was how he stayed on to claim the win in the end and the step up to 2m5f this weekend will do him no harm.
Felix Yonger probably isn’t the most solid Grade One horse in training either but for some reason he seems to have improved of late and he did win the Grade One BoyleSports Champion Chase at Punchestown so Flemenstar’s effort behind him in the BoyleSports Tied Cottage last month was a fair one, again considering Flemenstar probably wants further.
The 8/1 on offer certainly represents value and I think he could be a major player under Andrew Lynch.
Ma Filleule (5/1) gets a valuable 7lbs mares allowance which will do her claims no harm at all but to be winning a Grade One she surely would need to be putting more of a gap between herself and Emily Gray last time.
Course and distance winner Royal Regatta (5/1) was very impressive when winning here on his penultimate start and beating Mala Beach by 11-lengths but failing to back that up on softer ground last time out was a concern and the fact that he is just a 5/1 shot for a Grade One proves that this isn’t the strongest renewal of the race and hopefully Flemenstar can take advantage of that.
*Prices correct at time of publication