Jockey Andrew Lynch is not flush with top quality jumps rides and this may be a factor in Sizing Europe lining up for the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Sizing Europe was cut to 10/1 for the King George after the most facile of triumphs at Clonmel last time, to add to another easy success at Gowran Park previously this season.
Both of these victories have come over 2m4f and now that he is on the verge of becoming an 11-year-old, there is every reason to believe he will be stepped up in trip, rather than revert to 2m as in previous campaigns.
This opens a number of potential doors over the Xmas period before the Cheltenham Festival and the King George must enter the equation.
If connections want to keep him in Ireland, the Lexus Chase, also over 3m, would be logical, but with the prospect of tackling talented youthful duo Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs, this may be best avoided.
Meanwhile, Flemenstar, and clutching at straws Rubi Light, is the only other real top-drawer chaser that Lynch has the luxury of riding and so it will not be in his interests to have both square off against each other.
The Lexus Chase seems highly likely to be Flemenstar’s Xmas engagement, which means that Lynch must be keen to have Sizing Europe compete at Kempton instead, with both Group One contests on different days.
It is hard not to believe that this is Sizing Europe’s last season to land a big staying race and this is another reason why connections may be best served to bite the bullet and head to the King George.
The King George does look full of talent at present, but many horses have something to prove.
Favourite Long Run and Grands Crus have been struggling for their best form on their latest starts, while the likes of Al Ferof and Finian’s Rainbow have stamina concerns on what will be first attempts at 3m.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date