Sizing Europe is 12/1 in the Champion Chase betting to win at the Cheltenham Festival for the second season in succession and his chances could largely depend on the early speed in the race.
Trainer Henry de Bromhead believes that if Sizing Europe is to defeat the likes of Master Minded and Big Zeb then he needs to make sure that the field are going a good gallop straight from the off and not cantering slowly in the early stages.
This will not only be a positive factor in his own jumping, but could also put added pressure on the other leading two-mile protagonists keen to remain in contention behind.
De Bromhead said: “He loves being prominent, he loves that pace. The faster we go in the first mile, the better for him – he could have them all off the bridle coming down the hill like he did in the Arkle last year.
“If you school him at home, and at speed, he just wings the fences.”
The statistics bode well for Sizing Europe as all of the last 12 Arkle winners that have run at the Cheltenham Festival again the following year have finished in the first three.
Furthermore, the ground could also have a major say in his finishing position as it may significantly impact the way he jumps.
Although he will have the stamina to plough through slow ground, it will result in him being more deliberate at his fences and the speed at which he takes the larger obstacles will largely determine if he can assert enough pressure on the other leading fancies.
Master Minded currently heads the Champion Chase betting at 11/4, with last year’s winner Big Zeb the next best at 3/1.
A £25 stake on Sizing Europe winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase would return £300. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.