Road To Riches can cut Europe down to size

The great Sizing Europe heads to Gowran Park today in an attempt to win the Grade 2 PWC Champion Chase for the fourth year in-a-row.

Road To Riches  can cut Europe down to size

He will be partnered for the first time by Jonathan Burke and trainer, Henry de Bromhead, reports the veteran to be in excellent shape for his eagerly awaited return.

Sizing Europe was last seen at the Punchestown festival in April, when taking a Grade 1 by a decisive five and a half lengths. The bottom line, however, is that he is rapidly heading towards his 13th birthday and is reluctantly passed over in favour of the five years younger, Road To Riches.

Noel Meade’s charge certainly seems to run best fresh and has been rested since producing a scincillating display to win the Galway Plate 66 days ago by 11 lengths.

The nap vote goes to Michael Hourigan’s Moores Road in the Rooftop Racing Packages Gowran Park Maiden Hurdle. He may have needed the outing when beaten seven lengths into second by surprise winner, Snapchat, at Listowel. The form, in the context of this contest, is reasonable. The third, Tiger Trek, went close at Gowran Park yesterday, while the fourth, Pan Wandle, won a modest bumper at Clonmel on Thursday.

Henry de Bromhead’s Clonbanan Lad, not the most reliable of sorts, is the choice in the Gowran Park Racing Club Beginners Chase. He has been afforded a nice break since chasing Ted Veale home at Galway two months ago and a repeat of that effort will be good enough.

Ruby Walsh can make a triumphant return to race-riding aboard Indevan in the Grade 3 Like A Butterfly Novice Chase at Tipperary tomorrow. He had become a bit disappointing over flights, but has put up two fine performances to win over fences of late, here and at Killarney, and this is clearly his true calling.

Michael Winters’ Rebel Fitz cannot realistically be opposed in the Grade 2 Istabraq Hurdle, considering he has at least a stone in hand of his five rivals. Rebel Fitz has had well-documented problems, but stripped in rude good health at the Listowel festival recently to win a mile and six on the flat with any amount in hand.

Vilman, with the benefit of a favourable draw, looks best in the Athassel House Stud EBF Maiden and should relish this nine furlongs, having finished to real effect, over a mile, when third to Ol’ Man River at the Curragh.

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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