Sizing Europe returns with a bang at Gowran
Report: Gowran Park, Saturday
PWC Champion Chase (Grade 2) 2m4f, 5yo+
SIZING EUROPE made a faultless return to action when securing back-to-back wins in the PWC Champion Chase.
Winner of the 2011 Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham and runner-up last year, Sizing Europe jumped with all his usual enthusiasm under Andrew Lynch, coming nicely clear of Forpadydeplasterer in the closing stages.
China Rock and Joncol were both non-runners in the Grade 2 contest and the field was reduced further with the first fence exit of Shabra Charity.
Despite the reduced field, I Hear Symphony ensured a proper test, holding a healthy advantage at one stage before being reeled in by Sizing Europe at the second last.
The veteran put daylight between his rivals from that point, looking as good as ever at the age of ten.
The victory delighted winning trainer Henry de Bromhead. "It’s a lovely way to start the year and a relief," he said. "I thought his jumping was a little scratchy today but that’s always the case. I’m sure he will improve."
Weighing up his next target, De Bromhead added: "We have three options in November. The Fortria Chase at Navan, the 2m conditions race at Cheltenham's Open meeting or the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal."
On the prospect of stepping back up to 3m for the Down Royal race, the trainer said: "I don’t see why it’s not an option. He’s been second in race for the last two years and certainly gets 2m6f well."
Jockey Andrew Lynch added: "He felt as good as ever. Just like last year he slipped going on to the first but it didn’t stop him getting into a nice rhythm."