Cheltenham: Sizing Europe hard to stop in weak Champion Chase

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Although connections remain convinced that Sizing Europe can win a big contest over 3m, no risks seem set to be taken at the Cheltenham Festival.

There have been times in the past where Sizing Europe was being considered for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he is as good as certain to stick to 2m at Cheltenham and aim to defend his crown in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Course Form

Sizing Europe seems to save his best form for Cheltenham and in particular the Cheltenham Festival each March.

Barring a blip in the Champion Hurdle in 2008 when a well beaten favourite, Sizing Europe has triumphed on all of his other three visits and most notably he has triumphed at the past two Festivals.

The latter of these was in the Champion Chase last year and he looks well placed to triumph again at 9/4, with Finian’s Rainbow looking the only newcomer capable of laying down a serious challenge to the old guard.

Distance

Despite having the stamina to stay further, Sizing Europe’s ability to jump quickly at speed means he is better suited to 2m, where he can pressure the jumping of his competition from the front of the field.

Other

Given his added stamina, soft ground at the Cheltenham Festival would make Sizing Europe very hard to stop and if he is to be beaten, it is liable to be on a firmer surface where a horse with better speed could land the spoils.

Sizing Europe is set to run in the Boylesports.com Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown before heading to Cheltenham, which is a race where he was beaten by Champion Chase rivals Golden Silver and Big Zeb last year.

Punters may want to wait until after this race again before placing an ante-post Cheltenham Festival bet as another defeat could see Sizing Europe’s price drift.

However, victory would see him close in on being sent off odds-on for the Champion Chase.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.