Balko Des Flos out for the season

LAST season’s 100/1 Grand National runner-up Balko Des Flos has been ruled out for the remainder of the current campaign. Winner of the 2018 Ryanair Chase when owned by Gigginstown House Stud, the Henry de Bromhead-trained 11-year-old ran in the colours of the micro-share syndicate RacehorseClub.

He had run three times this season and shaped well on his second start in a cross country but he picked up an injury on his latest run over the banks in December.

“Balko Des Flos suffered an injury at Cheltenham a few weeks ago which will sadly rule him out for the remainder of the jumps season,” RacehorseClub ambassador Freddy Tylicki said on

“It doesn’t look like a career-threatening injury, but it’s enough that he needs some time on the sidelines.”

Dettori in Saudi for Abdullah race

FRANKIE Dettori is in Saudi Arabia today to ride in a race named in honour of the late Prince Khalid Abdullah.

Dettori built up a magnificent partnership with the Abdullah-owned Enable – winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe twice, the Breeders’ Cup Turf, three King Georges, the Oaks and Irish Oaks.

King Abdulaziz Racecourse will stage the Prince Khalid Bin Abdullah Cup in which Dettori rides Recovery Run, formerly trained by Andrew Balding and now with Bahrain-based Allan Smith.

Lynch targetting Cheltenham with Ben Dundee

ANDREW Lynch is aiming Ben Dundee at the Cheltenham Festival following his narrow defeat in the valuable Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown.

The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase and the National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase are the races the Co Meath trainer will choose from in March. Lynch will not run Ben Dundee over fences before then, but may give him a prep outing over hurdles.

“He’ll go to Cheltenham for one of those amateur races,” he said.

“He jumps fences better than be jumps hurdles. I don’t know why, but he does.We might give him a run in a hurdle race over here first just to sharpen him up.”