Balko Des Flos and Potters Corner are back in action tomorrow in the 3pm race at Cheltenham, the Glenfarclas Crystal Cup Cross Country Handicap Chase live on ITV4 and Racing TV.
Potters Corner ran a very good race from the front in the Cross-Country race back at the November meeting at Cheltenham. He was still in the reckoning turning for home before getting tired up the famous Cheltenham hill to finish 6th on ground that was possibly too quick for him.
Balko Des Flos travelled like the class horse he is throughout in behind, but the huge weight found him out in the end but stayed on to finish just ahead of Potters Corner into 5th.
The handicapper has since dropped Potters Corner eight pounds after an outing at Haydock a week after Cheltenham and will subsequently run off three pounds out of the handicap, but left Balko Des Flos on a mark of 161 after Cheltenham.
As a result, Balko Des Flos has an uphill task on simple handicapping up against the first four home in his previous race, but now Potters Corner is down in the weights and with ground tomorrow to be a bit more to his liking, he should get a bit nearer to Balko Des Flos.
Due to the storms in the UK and Ireland this week, Henry De Bromhead sent his team of runners over on the ferry on Monday to avoid any travel disruptions.
Balko Des Flos has been looked after brilliantly by Zoe Smalley who said this morning;“Rachael Blackmore text yesterday to ask how the horses were with which I simply replied, “Balko is strutting around like he built this place, he knows exactly where he is, so that tells you all you need to know about the form he’s in! But seriously, he travelled over great, and he seems in fantastic shape so hopefully he runs a big race tomorrow.”
Henry De Bromhead who will be attending Cheltenham tomorrow will meet RacehorseClub members who won the owners ticket ballot in the parade ring before the race.
Speaking at declaration stage yesterday, Henry said;“Balko is in tremendous form. He left the yard on Monday due to the bad weather forecast so he’s enjoying a mini break in Cheltenham! Zoe tells me he travelled over well so it’s all systems go on Friday. I’m sure he’ll run his usual great race and Rachael is looking forward to taking the ride. I look forward to seeing many RacehorseClub members again on Friday.”
Potters Corner who still holds an entry in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow on 27th December has had an easy time of things since his last start at Haydock on 20th November.
Christian Williams said today;“Potters Corner is in great form; he made a jumping mistake at Haydock and that was the end of his race, so Adam Wedge quite rightly looked after him and pulled him up. I’ve just been tipping away with him since and freshened him up, so he’s ready for tomorrow. He ran a great race in the Cross-Country last month with Jack Tudor on board who rides again tomorrow, and with a bit more juice in the ground and a few pounds off his back in the handicap I’m very hopeful he goes well. I had a great day meeting RacehorseClub members who were there as official owners last month and I’m looking forward to meeting even more tomorrow.”
RacehorseClub’s racing manager Freddy Tylicki said;“Another big day tomorrow for RacehorseClub members as Balko Des Flos and Potters Corner return to Cheltenham to renew rivalry. They both look to have chances in what looks a very competitive race, so fingers crossed they run very well and come home safe and sound with everyone enjoying the race both at Cheltenham and at home cheering on their horses.”