Balko Des Flos produced a sensational performance to win the 2018 Ryanair Chase, as the Henry de Bromhead-trained raider beat reigning champion Un De Sceaux with aplomb, in a race that saw Cue Card pulled up in the middle stages of the race.
Paddy Brennan elected to send Cue Card out in front early, but he was constantly niggling at the veteran, and down the back straight on the second circuit he began to fall back through the field, and Brennan chose to pull the multiple Grade 1 winner up, and leave the other quintet to fight it out.
Un De Sceaux took up the lead in front with a lap to go, but Balko Des Flos was always travelling smoothly in behind for Davy Russell, who had earlier ridden the Pertemps Final winner Delta Work, and Russell cruised past Un De Sceaux as they turned down the hill, and into the home straight.
Having kicked a few lengths clear, Balko Des Flos was beginning to get tired in the testing ground, but Un De Sceaux was unable to reel in the 8/1 shot, and Balko Des Flos went on to land the prize by four-and-a-half lengths, Un De Sceaux finishing second and Cloudy Dream in third.
14:50 Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) (Registered As The Festival Trophy)
1.Balko Des Flos - H De Bromhead - D Russell - 8/1
2.Un De Sceaux - W Mullins - P Townend - 8/11f