Solid Sizing Europe wins Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet
Report: Leopardstown, Thursday
Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase (Grade 1) 2m1f, 5yo+
SIZING EUROPE secured the seventh Grade 1 success of his career, delivering at odds of 1-3, but Henry de Bromhead's stable star was kept honest throughout by Rubi Light, having to be kept up to his work right to the winning post.
Bookmakers largely left Sizing Europe unchanged for the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, with the ten-year-old a general 7-1 chance, though Ladbrokes did cut him to 4-1 (from 5). Sizing Europe is also a general 7-1 chance for the Ryanair Chase.
Before the race started, the field was reduced to five, with Blazing Tempo withdrawn at the start due to injury. The front-running Rubi Light was soon to the fore with Sizing Europe, the pair duelling from the first fence and soon several lengths clear of Edgardo Sol in third.
Down the back Rubi Light outjumped the favourite on a few occasions, but at four out Andrew Lynch nudged ahead on Sizing Europe, with Davy Russell quickly pushing away on Rubi Light.
However, another good jump at three out kept Rubi Light in contention, although with Sizing Europe travelling much the better, the race appeared over.
Still Rubi Light refused to give in, and with Sizing Europe not bounding away on the run in, Robbie Hennessy's runner kept trying, but could not get close enough to land a telling blow.
Edgardo Sol was a never dangerous third, while Big Zeb, winner of the race for the last two seasons, and Forpadydeplasterer, never featured.
Sizing Europe had been under consideration for the William Hill King George VI at Kempton on Wednesday, but de Bromhead was pleased with his choice. He said: "I'm so happy we weren't in Kempton yesterday [Wednesday] for the King George as that was a complete slog.
"I don't think any Grade 1 is a soft option and Rubi Light put it up to us today. I'm delighted that we got the job done. There is always a bit of pressure when you are such a short price for a Grade 1 but I'm thrilled that we won it."
When asked about potential targets, de Bromhead added: "I'd love to have another go at three miles on better ground, I really would and so would Alan and Ann [Potts, owners] and Andrew [Lynch, jockey]. His performance in the Clonmel Oil was superb. We might go to the Red Mills at Gowran Park next.
"He'll be entered in the three races at Cheltenham [Champion Chase, Ryanair and Gold Cup] and I won't be ruling any of them out."