Sizing Europe grinds out Champion Chase success
Report: Punchestown, Tuesday
Boylesports.com Champion Chase (Grade 1) 2m, 5yo+
SIZING EUROPE produced a courageous display of jumping and galloping to land his first victory in the Punchestown festival Champion Chase.
Sent off at 8-13 to go one better than last year when he was just touched off by old rival Big Zeb, the Henry de Bromhead-trained Sizing Europe sat on the shoulder of China Rock through the early stages, jumping in his trademark effortless fashion.
Tracking him the whole time was Big Zeb with Realt Dubh for company and it was left to the three of them to fight it out as China Rock weakened on the runto the third-last fence.
Sizing Europe was given a slap down the neck and cleared the obstacle in style before surging for home around the final turn, leaving Big Zeb trailing.
But Realt Dubh was not finished and with Sizing Europe visually tiring he was asked for his all over the second-last by jockey Andrew Lynch and responded gamely.
Happy trainer: Henry de BromheadPICTURE: Caroline Norris
The ten-year-old wandered down to the final fence with Realt Dubh still on his tail but another strong leap gave him the advantage and he galloped on to a two and a quarter length success.
De Bromhead,who trains the winner for Alan and Ann Potts, said: "The ground was testing enough and they're finishing tired. With Realt Dubh bearing down on us going to the last I was a bit nervous but our lad ground it out in the end.
"He jumped great and out of that ground he's not going to jump with the same exuberance as he does on better ground but he did the job and I'm delighted."
Paddy Power make Sizing Europe 10-1 to regain his Sportingbet.com QueenMother Champion Chase crown at next year's Cheltenham Festival.
"I have no idea about next year. I'll talk with Alan and Ann over the summer and see," de Bromhead added.