Stephen Curran's Flemenstar was edged out of the winners' enclosure in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown today when Sir Des Champs, under Davy Russell took the spoils in the big race.
Quel Esprit made the early front running and 4/5 favourite Flemenstar was settled last of the four runners by Andrew Lynch.
Russell made his move to lead at the third last with Flemenstar going second from two out.
After the last Flemenstar was unable to close the gap on Sir Des Champs and the winner held on for a length and three quarters margin of victory.
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Flemenstar may now be aimed at the Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
Francis Casey, assistant to his father (Peter Casey), suggested that might be the route to follow.
"We were delighted with the way he settled, I imagine he'd be going back in trip," he said
"He was just popping his fences and everything was going to plan. We were hoping he'd get there, but it didn't work out.
It was a good day for Barry Geraghty also as he won the opening race at Newbury, but of even more importance was the fact that he won the big prize on Channel 4's The Morning LIne in the observation quiz - he won a Morning Line Mug and said he he would 'treasure it"