Flemenstar: heads Paddy Power's John Durkan betting at 11-10PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Flemenstar favourite for Sir Des Champs clash
FLEMENSTAR has been installed as 11-10 favourite with Paddy Power for Sunday's hotly anticipated clash with Sir Des Champs in the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.
Sir Des Champs, twice successful at the Cheltenham Festival but unsighted so far this season, is 13-8 second-favourite with the same firm, although Coral offer 7-4.
Connections of Flemenstar, who made an impressive seasonal debut in the Fortria Chase at Navan last month, are reportedly happy and trainer Peter Casey's son and assistant Francis said: "Flemenstar is in good order. We will do our final piece of work with him today.
"By the looks of things the ground will be heavy on Sunday, but he has won on heavy before. We couldn't have been happier with him at Navan so it's all systems go for Sunday as the Durkan has always been the plan."
The high-class duo were displaced at the head of the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting by Saturday's Hennessy hero Bobs Worth, but the Durkan is likely to bring about further fluctuations in the market.
Flemenstar is generally available at 8-1 for the Cheltenham showpiece while Sir Des Champs, who is unbeaten over jumps for Willie Mullins and Gigginstown House Stud, is as short as 5-1 with Ladbrokes and William Hill.
Commenting on Coral's decision to install Flemenstar as favourite for Sunday's contest, spokesman David Stevens said: "Silviniaco Conti and Bobs Worth have displayed their Gold Cup credentials in recent weeks on this side of the Irish Sea.
"Now Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs meet in what should be another informative race, with the former narrowly preferred with the benefit of a recent run behind him."