Sizing Europe won the race for a fourth timePICTURE: Alain Barr (racingpost.com/photos)
Sizing Europe battles to win Champion Chase
Report: Gowran Park, Saturday
PWC Champion Chase (Grade 2) 2m4f 5yo+
SUPERSTAR chaser Sizing Europe got back to winning ways when putting in a brave performance to land the PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park for the fourth time and bringing his lifetime win record to an incredible 22.
The Henry de Bromhead-trained chaser was sent off the 9-4 second favourite behind the Noel Meade-trained Road To Riches who started evens.
Sizing Europe was settled in fourth by his new jockey Jonathan Burke in the early stages, travelling comfortably and slowly creeping closer to long time leader Road To Riches.
Approaching the final bend the two market leaders had pulled clear of the rest of the field, but the former Queen Mother Champion Chase winner looked to be under pressure with Road To Riches travelling sweetly under a confident looking Paul Carberry.
But as the Alan Potts-owned 12-year-old was asked more questions by his young rider, he responded well and joined the long time leader approaching the final fence, at which both horses put in impressive leaps and landed together.
Coming up the home straight it looked to be a hard luck story for Sizing Europe, with Paul Carberry's mount finding even more under pressure, but he was able to battle back in the final strides to land a famous fourth victory in this beating Road To Riches by a head with Burn and Turn finishing a distant third.
Henry de Bromhead said after the race: "It was incredible, he left it until the very end. He has such a following and deserves everything.
"We just didn't feel he was ready top be retired as Alan [Potts] said 'he will tell us when he is ready to be retired'. He is still loving it and has the heart of a lion. The Clonmel Oil Chase is a possible now but we will take it one race at a time."
Commenting on Burke, who recently landed the job as de Bromhead's stable jockey, the trainer said: "He is a super rider. He has such a cool head for a young guy. He has really grabbed the opportunity and I am delighted for him."