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Flemenstar and Andrew Lynch

Flemenstar: will have no problem making Melling running says Peter Casey

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Flemenstar camp happy to serve it up in Melling

FLEMENSTAR'S trainer Peter Casey on Wednesday said his stable star would be ready to take command if necessary against his Melling Chase rivals by making the running at Aintree a week on Friday, regardless of the quality of the opposition, as last year's winner Finian's Rainbow was added to a star cast already featuring Sprinter Sacre and Cue Card.

What was originally expected to be a straight shootout between Flemenstar, who is unbeaten over fences at the Melling trip of two and a half miles, and Ryanair Chase winner Cue Card has developed into one of the most eagerly awaited clashes of the season with Champion Chase winner Sprinter Sacre set to try the longer distance for the first time over fences.

Casey said: "It makes no difference how good the horses who are going to turn up are. Finian's Rainbow is a good horse, so is Cue Card and maybe Sprinter Sacre is exceptional, but we have a good horse too and two and a half miles really suits him.

"We've no problem making the running either. If no one wants to go on he will, and we'll see how good they all are."

Peter Casey

Colourful trainer Peter Casey: "We'll see how good they are"

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (
Casey added that the ground was not an issue for the three-time Grade 1 winner, who will travel to Aintree on Tuesday evening and is pencilled in for the Champion Chase at next month's Punchestown festival provided Aintree doesn't take its toll.

Sprinter Sacre will attempt to complete the same Champion Chase-Melling Chase double achieved last season by his  stablemate Finian's Rainbow who, having missed Cheltenham because of the going, is also on target for Aintree.

Trainer Nicky Henderson said: "Finian's Rainbow is ground dependent and if he goes to Aintree it would be for the Melling. We've said all along we've got to get on some good ground for him.

"He will run at whichever place comes up first with good ground, but at the moment he'll join Sprinter there. They both worked yesterday and I couldn't be happier."

Henderson, who is nearly £400,000 clear of Paul Nicholls in the jumps trainers' championship, is taking a powerful team to Aintree.
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