Sizing Europe to complete two-mile double at Punchestown
Sizing Europe thrust himself to the top of the two-mile tree when winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham last month and is to be given the chance to confirm his dominance at the upcoming Punchestown Festival.
The Boylesports.com Champion Chase seems next on the agenda for Henry De Bromhead’s nine-year-old where there is every chance that he will meet old foes Big Zeb and Golden Silver for the third time in 2011.
De Bromhead is confident that the horse has fully gotten over his Cheltenham exploits and can follow up with another Grade One victory, particularly if he encounters his favoured good ground.
The trainer said: “Right now, the plan is absolutely to go to the Boylesports.com Champion Chase. He seems in great form.
“Good ground is Sizing Europe’s optimum. He’s pretty good on anything but to be at his real best, good ground is what he wants.”
Sizing Europe’s stamina has been called into question this year as he has run some races over three miles with the intention of a possible run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
However, the decision now seems to have been made to stick to the shorter distances for the foreseeable future.
This has led to Sizing Europe also being installed as the 3/1 favourite in the Cheltenham odds to successfully defend his Champion Chase crown at next March’s Festival.
Big Zeb chased home Sizing Europe this year and is another horse expected to return to Cheltenham in search of a second victory in the Champion Chase.
He is 8/1 to secure victory, which is the same price as Captain Chris, who won the two-mile Arkle Chase for novices at the Cheltenham Festival this year.
A £30 stake on Big Zeb winning the 2012 Champion Chase at Cheltenham would return £240. New customers can sign up here for a free £30 bet.