CHRISTMAS CRACKERS: Sizing survives scare from Captain
WE knew Sizing Europe was a genuine Grade 1 hurdler but we had no idea whether he would develop in a Grade 1 chaser. Following three impressive wins at Punchestown, Henry de Bromhead's stable star was sent off even-money favourite to complete the four0-timer in the Grade 1 Bord Na Mona With Nature Novice Chase.
He did just that but not before Captain Cee Bee gave his supporters a mighty scare.
Sizing Europe raced with plenty of enthusiasm and what can certainly be said is that he re-established the superiority he had previously displayed over Osana when beating him in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham two years ago. What is also pretty certain is that he beat a field jam-packed full of quality.
But would he have won if Captain Cee Bee has stayed on his feet at the last? Probably not.
To be fair to Sizing Europe, a little bit of doubt will remain as Andrew Lynch hadn´t asked him for everything, but Captain Cee Bee looked to have him dead to rights when falling. He travelled superbly and jumped really well most of the way, and had cruised upsides when taking an unlucky and somewhat novicey fall at the last.
Osana did plug on to be second and this is one horse that´s probably very unlucky to be around in the same novice year as some exceptionally good horses.
It was a race that left us with more questions than answers but Sizing Europe emphatically answered every question put in front of him in the years that followed.