Europe team mull options

HENRY de Bromhead is weighing up the options for Sizing Europe following his highly creditable performance at Down Royal last weekend.

Last year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase winner stepped back up in distance to three miles for the JNwine.com Champion Chase, having chased home Kauto Star in the Grade One contest 12 months earlier.

Having travelled like the winner, his stamina gave way on the run-in and he once again had to make do with the runner-up spot, this time behind Quito De La Roque.

De Bromhead plans to switch back in trip with his pride and joy next time, but has not ruled out having another crack at three miles in the future if conditions are right.

“He’s come out of the race good. He was obviously a bit tired for a couple of days but he’s fine now,” said the trainer.

“I thought it was a phenomenal performance from him on the day. I was thrilled with how he ran and it was just a shame he couldn’t win.

“We have a few options for him now, including the Tingle Creek over two miles at Sandown and the John Durkan Memorial Chase over two-and-a-half at Punchestown.

“We’ve not entered him in the King George this year and I think we’ll stick at two and two and half miles for the time being.

“But he’s clearly not far away from getting three miles, I’d say he probably would stay on a bit of decent ground.”

Meanwhile former champion hurdler Binocular is the star attraction among the entries for the stanjames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on November 26.

Nicky Henderson’s seven-year-old is on a retrieval mission this season after an interrupted campaign last season meant he was unable to defend his crown at Cheltenham.

Paul Nicholls’ durable Celestial Halo would look a serious rival at this early stage after his win at Wincanton last weekend.

The champion trainer has also entered Ascot winner Brampour and Sanctuaire.

Bygones Of Brid, who ran such a good race behind Peddlers Cross in last year’s race, has been entered by Karen McLintock with Topolski also holding the option for David Arbuthnot.

Donald McCain, who won the race last year, could be represented by the popular Overturn this time.

Two former Howard Johnson inmates, Bow Badger, now with John Wade, and Stormy Weather, now with Brian Ellison, could

Champion Hurdle runner-up Peddlers Cross made a smooth transition to fences with a straightforward victory in the Golden Bear Beginners’ Chase at Bangor.

Donald McCain’s dual Grade One winner did little more than expected under Timmy Murphy in beating two rivals rated vastly inferior, but there was still plenty of encouragement to be taken from his fluent and accurate jumping.

The 1-8 favourite had his opponents cooked a long way from home in the extended two-mile-one-furlong event, and negotiated the last couple of fences in the straight immaculately to win by a ready four and a half lengths.

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