Europe to stay hurdling

Irish Champion Hurdle winner Sizing Europe is set for another winter over timber with connections having virtually ruled out a novice chase campaign.

Henry De Bromhead’s six-year-old looked a world beater when slamming Hardy Eustace and Al Eile at Leopardstown, before dropping out of contention at an alarming rate of knots when favourite at the Cheltenham Festival.

Despite that reverse owing to muscle problems, the Alan Potts-owned youngster was crowned Champion Two-Mile Hurdler – rated 1lb higher than Champion Hurdle winner Katchit – at the Anglo-Irish Jump Racing Awards in London.

“It is looking like we will go over hurdles again next season,” said De Bromhead.

“He has the stamp of a chaser, the look of a chaser and some say he jumps like a chaser. I don’t mind which way he goes, but Alan and Ann seem keen to stay over hurdles.

“His award today was another boost to going for the Champion Hurdle again and is a huge credit to the horse.

“What happened at Cheltenham was disappointing and he wasn’t just quite right for Punchestown.

“We jogged him up on Sunday morning, though, and he was like a gazelle.

“He’ll have a nice long summer off at grass and we’ll sit down and decide a plan than.

“I am not a fan of handicaps so would prefer to stick to conditions races and I know Alan would love to have another go to the Irish Champion Hurdle.”

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