Past Winners » Balko Des Flos


(Message of 8th March 2018)

Un De Sceaux sets a high standard in the Ryanair Chase, he is the correct favourite for the race, but I think that Balko Des Flos is over-priced against him at 6/1.

Top Notch has come out of the race today, and it could cut up even further.  Waiting Patiently may not run, Min will probably run in the Champion Chase, Douvan will probably run in the Champion Chase, Yorkhill will probably run in the Champion Hurdle, Benie Des Dieux will probably run in the Mares’ Hurdle.

Henry de Bromhead’s horse is reportedly a definite intended runner now in the Ryanair Chase.  He won the Galway Plate in August off a mark of 146, and he shaped like a young horse who could progress significantly.  He was beaten on his next run though in the PWC Chase at Gowran Park – a race that his trainer liked to target with Sizing Europe – and he was disappointing in the Clonmel Oil Chase next time, with the result that he was a little bit of a forgotten horse when he lined up in the Leopardstown Christmas Chase.  Sent off at 66/1 that day, he ran a cracker to finish second, just a length and a quarter behind Road To Respect.

I had him down as a potential Gold Cup outsider after that, but the more time has gone on, the more connections appeared to be favouring the Ryanair Chase, and that appears to be his target now.  I still think that he stays well, he stayed on well at Leopardstown to get back up for second place, but a strongly-run two miles and five furlongs at a stiff track could be close to optimum for him for now.

He was running a big race in the JLT Chase last March when he fell at the fourth last fence, so we know that he can go well at the Cheltenham Festival.  He is only seven, he still has potential for progression, and he could run a big race in the Ryanair.