BALKO Des Flos ran a massive race in the Christmas Chase. Always prominent, the Galway Plate winner ceded the lead to Yorkhill at the fifth fence, but he was back in front when Yorkhill made a mistake at the fifth last, and he battled back again for Denis O’Regan after he had been passed on the run-in, going down by just over a length. This was much more like it after two defeats since his Galway Plate heroics.

The Balko gelding’s run was further evidence that Henry de Bromhead has his horses in top form now. A 4,334/1 treble at Leopardstown on St Stephen’s Day was followed by Trainwreck’s win in the two-mile handicap hurdle on Wednesday and Surf Instructor’s win in the two-mile novices’ chase at Limerick on Thursday, with Philip Enright performing heroics after a mistake at the final fence almost dislodged him and did dislodge his feet from his irons.