Dial Sizing Europe for winning formula
RACING:Any hopes Henry De Bromhead had of trying Sizing Europe over three miles during this Christmas period have been dashed by the weather but the tried-and-trusted two-mile route can pay off in style in today’s €100,000 Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase. Speculation about Sizing Europe’s stamina has hummed for a number of seasons now but what isn’t in doubt is the horse’s capabilities at the minimum trip.
Sprinter Scare may be the exciting new kid-on-the-block but Sizing Europe won the 2011 Queen Mother at Cheltenham, was desperately unlucky to be dethroned by Finian’s Rainbow last March, and has notched up spectacular victories in top-flight events like the Tingle Creek during the course of a spectacular career.
One Grade One he hasn’t contested, however, is today’s Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase, a contest that Big Zeb has dominated with three wins (2008-’10-’11) and which Colm Murphy’s veteran contests again, along with Rubi Light who is on a retrieval mission after running sick last time, and an English raider in Edgardo Sol. There was a time Big Zeb and Sizing Europe had a real rivalry going but the latter still looks at a career peak while Zeb seems to have been on a slide.
Very soft conditions won’t be ideal for either, something that will encourage Rubi Light followers who drops back to two miles after finishing behind Flemenstar in the Durkan.
But Sizing Europe’s quality can overcome the conditions. “He’s in good form and I’m much happier running him over two miles when the ground is like it is,” said De Bromhead. “I’m very happy with the horse.”
This afternoon’s other Grade One is the Future Champions Novice Hurdle and Jezki brings pretty cast-iron credentials to the €80,000 party.
Jessica Harrington’s star has seen the form of his first two hurdles starts boosted since, and overcame Champagne Fever in the Royal Bond despite very heavy going and a marked tendency to jump left in the early stages. Going left-handed today should help with that and the speed Jezki showed in getting past Champagne Fever looks a weapon that will be too potent for these as well.
Rory O’Moore is another who will like going left-handed but his jumping can let him down while Waaheb will hardly be suited to very soft going and Bright New Dawn is being stepped up significantly in grade.
Dublin owner Barry Connell will have big-race ambitions with Glam Gerry later in the day but also looks to have a suitable contender for the second maiden hurdle in Mumbo Jumbo, a bumper winner here last Christmas, and beaten only a nose on heavy ground at Listowel in September. Tennis Cap can follow up his recent Cork win in the handicap hurdle.