Blogs & Opinion


Alex Hammond tips Flemenstar to land the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown.

Blogs Posted 7th December 2012 view comments

Alex Hammond tips Flemenstar to edge out Sir Des Champs in Sunday's John Durkan Chase at Punchestown.

In Ireland, there is another potential thrilling head-to-head in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown. It sees the clash of two top chasers, Sir Des Champs and Flemenstar. Flemenstar is Sky Bet's even-money favourite for this 2m4f Grade 1 and has the benefit of a win under his belt already this term. Peter Casey's star chaser was impressive in the Fortria Chase at Navan last month where he jumped particularly well. That was over two miles and I think his superior speed gives him another advantage over the 13/8 second-favourite.

Alex Hammond believes Flemenstar can land the John Durkan

Alex Hammond believes Flemenstar can land the John Durkan

Much was made of the fact that he will have improved for that run too and remember none of these top horses will be fully wound up at this stage of the season.

The Willie Mullins-trained Sir Des Champs is unbeaten since joining Ireland's champion jumps trainer. He capped a magnificent season with a win in the Grade 1 Champion Novice Chase over 3m1f at Punchestown in April.

As far as the Gold Cup is concerned, I'd rather be on Sir Des Champs (and I've already backed him for the Cheltenham race for which he is currently 5/1 second fav). He looks the much more convincing stayer of the duo, whilst Flemenstar has bags of speed. I think that speed and the fact he has had a run this season could see Flemenstar edge it on Sunday and I won't be ripping up my antepost voucher if Sir Des Champs is beaten. Sir Des Champs is a lazy horse and he may need an outing or two to get him spot on for targets later in the season.

The International meeting takes place in Hong Kong on Sunday with plenty of British interest. Star attraction Cirrus Des Aigles has been ruled out by a ligament strain, but watch out for the likes of Carlton House (Cup), Sea Moon, Dunaden and Red Cadeaux (Vase) amongst others. I'll bring you the latest news and market movers ahead of the races on Sky Sports News on Saturday. Have a great weekend's racing.

Selections:

Flemenstar in the John Durkan Memorial Chase @ Evs with Sky Bet

back to top

Other Blogs:

Latest Posts in :

Alex Ferguson

Early assessments

Alex Ferguson says Cincy have shone and Oakland have been appalling in the NFL action so far....

Alex Ferguson

Start your engines!

Alex Ferguson predicts who will triumph in NASCAR's showpiece race, the Daytona 500....

comments

Gary Neville

Nev: Consistency key for Danny

Gary Neville says Arsene Wenger can turn Danny Welbeck into a great striker, as he did with Thierry Henry....

Graeme Souness

Souness: 'Liverpool lightweight'

Graeme Souness says Liverpool’s defeat in Basel proves that the current side is a shadow of their former selves....

Ed Chamberlin

Van the man?

Ed Chamberlin explains why Tejay van Garderen is capable of plucking the Tour de France's Yellow Jersey....

comments

Peter Beagrie

Beagrie: Vardy deserves cap

An England call-up would be rich reward for all of Jamie Vardy's hard work, says Peter Beagrie....

Dewi Morris

Morris: Toulon too strong

A Matt Giteau-inspired Toulon should win the Top 14 with some attractive rugby, says Dewi Morris....

Butch Harmon

McGinley beat Watson

Butch Harmon says Paul McGinley out-captained Tom Watson as Europe retained the Ryder Cup....

0 comments

Alex Hammond

Follow Rules

Alex Hammond has checked the formbook and found the first six home in the Cambridgeshire!...

Alex Hammond

Alex Hammond Blog

Alex Hammond looks ahead to another big weekend of racing...

Alex Hammond

Hear the Music!

Alex Hammond looks ahead to the weekend's racing including the feature Betfred Sprint Cup....

View from America

Thoroughbred field

Even without Tiger on top form, the PGA at Valhalla proved golf's elite can thrill, says Simon Veness....

comments

Neal Foulds

Selby steel

New world champion Mark Selby's the master of match play, says Neal Foulds - but what's next for Ronnie?...

comments

Neal Foulds

Trump tip

Ronnie O'Sullivan is favourite for the Worlds - but Judd Trump could spring a shock, says Neal Foulds....

comments

Neal Foulds

Night at the Circus

Neal Foulds is looking forward to another fun, raucous Snooker Shoot-Out - but can't pick a winner....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Back on track

Lakeside can make it two wins over Belle Vue Aces in four days, says Kelvin Tatum, but it'll be close!...

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Hit the road

Swindon are struggling this season but will fancy their chances at Birmingham, says Kelvin Tatum....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Racing away

Belle Vue are unbeaten at home but Kelvin Tatum asks if they can transfer that form at Swindon....

comments

Richard Moore

The final curtain

Richard Moore reflects on Sunday's Closing Ceremony to an unforgettable Olympic Games......

comments

Richard Moore

A lasting golden glow

Richard Moore suggests all the British Olympians should visit schools and talk about their experiences....

comments

Richard Moore

Favourite Froome

Richard Moore reveals his predictions for the 100th Tour de France, which starts on Saturday....

comments

Wayne McCullough

Wonderful Davis

Wayne McCullough watched Antonio Rogerio Nogueria take on Phil Davis at UFC Fight Night 24. ...

0 comments

Wayne McCullough

Jones shines bright

Wayne McCullough was highly impressed as the talented Jon Jones made short work of Mauricio Rua....

2 comments

Wayne McCullough

A bloody marvel

Wayne McCullough salutes Diego Sanchez as he edges out Martin Kampmann in a UFC humdinger....

0 comments