Sizing Europe faces six rivals as he aims to secure his third victory of the campaign in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown on Thursday.
Henry de Bromhead’s multiple Grade One winner has impressed over two and a half miles at Gowran Park and Clonmel this term and connections did consider returning to three miles in either the King George VI Chase at Kempton or the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on Friday.
However, the prevailing testing conditions at both tracks prompted De Bromhead to put a step back up in distance on hold as he comes back to two mile and a furlong.
Heading the opposition is Sizing Europe’s old rival Big Zeb. Colm Murphy’s veteran is aiming for a fourth win in this race.
Rubi Light was found to have been suffering from a lung infection when disappointing on his reappearance in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase, but is an interesting contender coming back in trip.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Edgardo Sol makes the journey from England.
The field is completed by Forpadydeplasterer, Blazing Tempo and Foildubh.
De Bromhead is confident he has picked the right race in which to run his stable star.
“He’s in good form and I’m much happier running him over two miles when the ground is like it is,” said the County Waterford handler.
“I’m very happy with him at home, so hopefully all goes well.
“Tomorrow’s race is his target and we won’t look beyond that until afterwards.”
Trainer Robbie Hennessy feels he, too, has made the right call to bring Rubi Light back in distance – instead of tackling the Lexus.
“He obviously scoped badly after his last run but we gave him a blow-out on Christmas morning, the vet was could enough to come and scope him afterwards and the scope was spotless,” said Hennessy.
“We knew something wasn’t right the last day as Barry (Geraghty) said he stopped very quickly, but hopefully we’ve put that right now.
“I’m not too worried about coming back in trip with him.
“On his last run over an extended two miles he was just caught close home by a good horse in Golden Silver.
“I don’t think there is any point taking on horses like Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs over three miles in the Lexus, so this is the right race to run him in.”