The Christmas period is always a key one in National hunt Racing with the Cheltenham Festival now less than three months away. There are a host of top quality races in Ireland over the next few days with the Leopardstown Christmas Meeting jam packed full of top class action. The highlight of the meeting after Christmas is likely to be the Lexus Chase which will once again act as a key Gold Cup trial for Festival punters to keep a close eye on. Last season Synchronised won the Lexus before going onto win the Gold Cup and the feeling is that Flemenstar might be the horse to do that double this season. The Peter Casey in-mate was slashed for the Gold Cup recently when he slammed Sir Des Champs in the John Durkan Chase and the pair are set to re-match in the Lexus at Leopardstown. The pair of them are considered to be the best two staying chasers in Ireland at the moment but there is no reason to think Sir Des Champs will be able to reverse the form with Flemenstar after he was so comprehensively beaten last time out.
This is however likely to be a slightly tougher test for Flemenstar as he tackles three miles for the first time on what is likely to be testing ground. Connections are more than confident that stamina won't be an issue for Flemenstar but he will need to prove that against some excellent horses. One interesting contender who could head over to Ireland for the Lexus Chase is Tidal Bay who looks to be in the form of his life for Paul Nicholls. He ran a stormer to finish second in the Hennessy behind Gold Cup favourite Bobs Worth last time and how he performs in the Lexus should offer punters a great form line through the English and Irish contenders. Another potential Lexus runner at this stage is Pandorama who won this race two years ago before picking up an injury and it will be fascinating to see if he can return to Grade 1 winning form after such a long lay-off. All eyes will be on Flemenstar though as he tackles three miles for the first time and another comfortable win for the horse here could well see him take favouritism for the Gold Cup in March.