Europe in good shape following Clonmel

Henry de Bromhead reports Sizing Europe to be none the worse the day after his disappointing run in the Clonmel Oil Chase.

The popular chaser looked set for retirement after an emotional success in the Punchestown Festival in the spring, but connections brought him back and that decision was vindicated with a heart-warming success at Gowran Park last month.

He was expected to put it up to dual Cheltenham Festival hero Champagne Fever in Thursday’s Grade Two feature, but weakened out of contention having raced prominently and passed the post six of seven runners.

De Bromhead feels the ultra-testing conditions that prevailed at Powerstown Park may have been to blame for his stable star’s below-par display.

He said: “He seems good this morning.

“It was possibly ground (that was to blame) and Jonathan (Burke) wasn’t overly hard on him when he knew it wasn’t happening.

“I’ve no plan whatsoever for him at this stage.”

Meanwhile the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown is the most likely next port of call for Noel Meade’s star chaser Road To Riches.

Meade can justifiably now target his charge at all the major staying chases and although the King George VI Chase at Kempton on St Stephen’s Day is not being ruled out, he is set to turn out at Leopardstown on December 28.

Meade said: “I’ve been happy with him since Down Royal. He’s actually in great form at the moment.

“We’ll be looking towards Christmas for him. He’s got an entry in the King George, but the Lexus is probably more likely.”


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