Sizing Europe: won Tied Cottage last year at PunchestownPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Sizing Europe primed for Tied Cottage repeat
SIZING EUROPE'S Cheltenham Festival preparations will be stepped up on Sunday when trainer Henry de Bromhead runs the 11-year-old in the Grade 2 Boylesports.com Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown.
Twice a winner over 2m4f and once at 2m1f on his last three starts, Sizing Europe's versatility regarding trip is reflected in his entries for the Festival, which are the Champion Chase, Ryanair and Gold Cup. However De Bromhead is yet to commit to any race.
Sizing Europe, winner of the race last year, is one of seven runners entered for Sunday's race, and De Bromhead said: "Sizing Europe did a piece of work on the beach this [Tuesday] morning and I'm glad to say that he is in great form.
"He came out of his race at Christmas well so we are looking forward to the Tied Cottage on Sunday. It was a key race in our campaign last year so we are sticking to that plan".
The sponsors have installed Sizing Europe as 1-4 favourite, with Paddy Power offering 2-7, and among his rivals could be Foildubh, who was pulled up in the Kinloch Brae Chase on his last start at Thurles.
Trainer John Patrick Ryan said: "Foildubh was unlucky in the Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles a fortnight ago when he was almost brought down at the fifth fence and pulled up, so he got no race as such that day.
"He appears to be in great nick at the minute and likes Punchestown, having won the Grade A Guinness handicap chase at the festival last year. Two miles is plenty for him on heavy ground but obviously Sizing Europe is the horse to beat."