Flemenstar: all being well will head to Aintree and PunchestownPICTURE: Caroline Norris
Flemenstar on course for Cue Card Aintree clash
FLEMENSTAR'S trainer Peter Casey has issued a warning to connections of Cue Card, suggesting their Cheltenham Festival winner won't get his own way up front in the John Smith's Melling Chase at Aintree.
Flemenstar was forced to sit out Cheltenham with a lung infection but Casey reports his stable star to be bang on course for a clash with Cue Card in the Grade 1 contest over 2m4f on April 5.
"He's in grand form. I couldn't be happier with him and it's all systems go for Aintree," Casey said. "He's back to full health and he's been to the Curragh for a gallop. He'll have a couple more gallops and a few trips to the beach between now and the race."
After hold-up tactics were tried in the Lexus and the Irish Hennessy over 3m, Casey gave a strong indication that Flemenstar would revert to his more natural running style at Aintree and not allow Cue Card to have it all his own way up front.
"I'd imagine so," said Casey when asked whether Flemenstar would be ridden more aggressively at Aintree. "Cue Card likes to do his own thing out in front and he was impressive at Cheltenham, there is no doubt about that.
"Would we have won that race? I don't know. You're always wondering what would have happened but we'll never know the answer.
"I don't think Cue Card will have it all his own way out in front at Aintree. It'll be something else to watch those two horses go at it."
Providing he comes out of Aintree in full health, Casey is eyeing a showdown with Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Sprinter Sacre at Punchestown.
"If all goes well there [Aintree], he'll probably go to Punchestown for the two-mile race [Boylesports.com Champion Chase]. The two-mile race was what we wanted to run in at Cheltenham," Casey told irishtimes.com.