“He was very good and all the credit must go to Henry De Bromhead and the team really” insisted modest Davy Russell winning the Galway plate on Balko Des Flos.
Balko Des Flos his first appearance since finishing third in a novice handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned six-year-old was a 6-1 chance to provide De Bromhead with his second Plate success following the victory of Shanahan’s Turn two years ago.
The French-bred gelding travelled ominously well throughout for Russell and was never too far off the pace being set by British challenger Vintage Vinnie from the Rebecca Curtis stable but when that horse faded it all observed to be plain sailing as eventual was travelling with such purpose to suggest it had plenty left in the tank.
Sandymount Duke, owned by rock and roll icon Ronnie Wood, jumped to the front three fences from home, but Balko Des Flos was always in his measure and took over with two precise leaps at the final two obstacles.
Shaneshill, who was available at 11-1 this morning before being sent off the 3-1 favorite, got involved after the home turn, but Balko Des Flos never looked in danger of being caught and passed the post a contented four and three-quarter lengths clear of the market leader in second chasing hard to close the gap but jig jogging on the spot.
After the race, winning jockey Russell stated: “”He travelled and jumped and I got to the front early enough, but the last thing I asked Davy Roche (De Bromhead’s assistant) going out was whether he’d stay and he said ‘absolutely, stamina is not an issue’, so I was happy enough to let him go. “I’ve never won this race, so it’s nice to tick it off the bucket list