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Gold Cup clues on offer at Punchestown

FANS of jump racing were treated to a memorable day on Saturday and Sunday looks like it could serve up another treat.

A day after the brilliant performance from Sprinter Sacre in winning the Tingle Creek further rising stars of the chasing world will be in action this afternoon when Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs clash in the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown.

The pair sit towards the head of the betting for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup already and there is every chance that one of them could be favourite for the race by the end of the day.

Flemenstar has won six of his seven chase starts and made a successful return to action when winning at Navan last month. His trainer Peter Casey said: "He doesn't mind the soft ground but doesn't like it sticky. We've never had one like him before and will never have one like him again. He couldn't be in better form."

Sir Des Champs is unbeaten in five starts over fences and will have his first run since winning at the Punchestown Festival in April.

Jockey Davy Russell said: "I've always loved my horse and he did everything that was asked of him last year. If Willie [Mullins] says he's fit and well then I certainly won't be arguing with him. He's not what you would call a morning glory; he's not a flashy worker at all. He just works with middling horses. I've no doubt that he has the potential to improve from last year. That I'm certain of."

As well as racing at Punchestown they go over jumps at Kelso and Warwick and on the all-weather at Lingfield. There is also a second meeting at Ireland with Cork racing too.

Kelso: soft, heavy in places
Lingfield: standard
Warwick: soft, good to soft in places

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